President wants probe into alleged corruption at Department of Justice

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants an investigation into alleged corruption at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Earlier this month, Sowetan reported the department allegedly irregularly awarded a R10-million tender to a Durban-based firm to supply office furniture to the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane.

Documents seen by Sowetan showed that Sanjay Singh, who is the department's chief director for supply chain, sat at the departmental bid adjudication committee, even though he was advising the bid specification committee into drafting specifications for the procurement of office furniture.

The audit shows how Singh allegedly influenced the awarding of a tender to supply office furniture in favour of Style Craft Office Design.

Allegations against Singh came to light after Eunice Makgopa, the manager of the Limpopo state attorney's office in Polokwane, raised concerns about how the tender was awarded.

It was also reported that the department has come under criticism for the slow progress of transformation in its procurement services.

The criticism comes after the department, led by Minister Michael Masutha, allegedly awarded Fidelity Security evergreen contracts to guard its premises since 2005.

This prompted Ramaphosa, who has demonstrated that he will not tolerate corruption in his administration, to call on the relevant authorities to investigate these allegations.

"The president has noted with concern the allegations as reported," Ramaphosa's spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said yesterday.

"The president has full confidence in the systems we have in place to fight corruption or any other criminal activity."

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse head of communications Lois Moodley said yesterday that an investigation into the allegations of corruption at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development were long overdue.

"We welcome the investigation by the president," Moodley said.

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