Graft claims taint image

CORRUPTION claims that continue to taint government in spite of its avowed clean-up campaign never cease to amaze, or appear to peter out.

CORRUPTION claims that continue to taint government in spite of its avowed clean-up campaign never cease to amaze, or appear to peter out.

Not even the promise of the new regime's anti-corruption crusade seems to be able rid the government of the stigma of graft.

Currently dogging government is a R3,9 billion tender to manage the Eastern Cape's 2900 car fleet, which was mysteriously awarded to Phakisa Fleet Solutions but is now the subject of a legal challenge by a competing bidder. The Makhubu Consortium had offered a lower bid but was overlooked in favour of Phakisa, which won the tender despite submitting a bid R800 million above the limit.

Phakisa's parent company, Bosasa, which is closely linked to the ANC, was exposed last month for allegedly bribing top prison officials to secure contracts worth more than R1,7 billion.

This week, Sowetan learnt that the R3,9 billion tender had been quietly cancelled. This after Auditor-General Terrence Nombembe agreed last month to probe the contract.

Bosasa is no stranger to tender-related controversy, having been accused of buying Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour a 4x4 vehicle in the past while harvesting one tender over another on his watch.

Eastern Cape's decision to cancel the tender clearly suggests evidence of irregularities and a lack of integrity in the process. If so, heads must roll. We can longer countenance a situation where tender rules are always bent to accommodate ANC cronies.

X