Citing the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act‚ the report recommends that suspected fraud and corruption in tender proceedings relating to BYD electric buses be reported to the police.
This part of the investigation followed allegations against Whitehead levelled by ANC councillor Bheki Hadebe‚ who claimed the commissioner was involved in unfairly advantaging the Chinese company to secure a tender for electric MyCiTi buses.
Hadebe told the transport and urban development committee that council officials met BYD representatives in China and in Whitehead’s boardroom before the tender was advertised. He also claimed the company wrote the specifications for the tender.
Council documents in the possession of SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE show that on August 24 2015‚ council contract management chief Sidney Pretorius wrote to John Martheze‚ manager of operations integration in Whitehead’s department‚ saying: “We are in the process of facilitating procurement of electric buses from BYD.”
The agenda for a visit to Cape Town the following month by BYD executives AD Huang and Brian Li included the entries “finalise and conclude business agreement” and “confirmation of roll-out times”. But the deadline for tenders — five companies submitted bids — was only in early 2016.
BYD was awarded the R286m contract in August 2016.
Eleven buses in a R128m pilot project have since been assembled‚ but cannot be delivered until the investigation of the tender is complete.
Bowman Gilfillan also says BYD may have created fraudulent broad-based black economic empowerment documents to comply with the city’s tender requirements.
Kesson criticised Whitehead for her role on the original evaluation committee for the Foreshore Freeway Project.
This R8.3bn project to revitalise the Foreshore and resolve the problem of the city centre’s unfinished freeways was scrapped in July by new city manager Lungelo Mbandazayo‚ who said his decision followed several appeals and objections to the decision in February to name Mitchell du Plessis Associates the preferred bidder.
“Having received legal advice‚ the city concluded that a lack of sufficient clarity in the request for proposals documentation rendered the evaluation criteria vague‚” said Mbandazayo.