Hawks circle over Masutha's department
The police's elite crime fighting unit, the Hawks, is investigating allegations of fraud and corruption at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has demonstrated that he will not tolerate corruption, called on the relevant authorities to investigate allegations of fraud at the department.
Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed this week that they had launched an investigation into the
department, led by Minister Michael Masutha. "The document has been submitted to serious anti-corruption unit. It has been allocated to an investigator. It means the investigation has started."
Allegations of fraud and corruption in the department came to light after officials including Eunice Makgopa, the manager of the Limpopo state attorney's office, raised concerns about how a R10-million tender was irregularly awarded to a Durban company to supply furniture to the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane.
Documents show that Sanjay Singh, the department's chief director for supply chain, sat on the departmental bid adjudication committee even though he was advising the bid specification committee on drafting specifications for the procurement of the furniture.
The documents further state that allegations against Singh came to light after he was involved in the drafting of the specifications as he was in attendance at the meetings held by the bid specification committee, which led to Makgopa's disapproval of the process followed.
"Based on our findings, we can conclude that the bid adjudication committee should not have entertained the recommendations made by the BEC [bid evaluation committee] in that Stylecraft [Office] Design be awarded the tender," the documents read.
The department, however, said the disciplinary hearing exonerated Singh.
"Mr Singh was exonerated of all allegations after due process, and the department regards this process as finalised," spokesman Steve Mahlangu said.
However, the audit shows how Singh influenced the awarding of the tender to Stylecraft Office Design.