Justice department to review security contracts since 2006, after Bosasa revelations

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha.
Image: Trevor Samson

The department of justice and constitutional development has appointed audit firm Sizwe Ntsaluba-Gobodo to review all its security contracts awarded since 2006.

This was announced by justice and correctional services minister Michael Masutha on Monday as he briefed the media on what he is doing in response to the corruption that has been revealed at the Zondo Commission into state capture.

Masutha told reporters that the department entered into a contract with Sondolo IT in 2008 for the supply, delivery, installation and maintenance of a comprehensive CCTV and access control system for a building identified as high risk and head office.

The installation of security infrastructure under this contract was concluded in 2015 followed by a warranty period of 12 months. The value of this contract was more than R600m.

In September 2015 the contract with Sondolo IT was extended for an additional 36 months for corrective and preventative maintenance as per the original contract. The extended contract ended in September 2018 and its value was more than R373m.

Masutha said Sondolo IT continued to render services on a month-to-month basis.

“The conduct of relevant officials in the security section coupled with the serious allegations made at the Zondo Commission has led the department to secure the services of audit and advisory firm Sizwe Ntsaluba-Gobodo to review all security contracts awarded since 2006, with specific focus on contracts awarded to Bosasa and its subsidiaries. In terms of the contract, Sizwe Ntsaluba-Gobodo is expected to complete the review within three months,” he said.

Sondolo IT is a subsidiary of services company Bosasa, which has been in the news for months after its former executives told the Zondo Commission the extent of bribery that the company employed in order to secure tenders with the state.

The executives, among whom was former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, told the commission that the company kept a vault on its premises in which millions of rands in cash, used to pay bribes, was stored.

Following these revelations, First National Bank and Absa announced that they would be closing the bank accounts of Bosasa, now called African Global Operations, at the end of this month. Bosasa has since applied for liquidation.

“As of this morning, 25 February 2019, an official in the security management of the department has been placed under precautionary suspension following an internal forensic investigation implicating him in the irregular procurement of the services of Global Technology Solutions on behalf of the Zondo Commission,” said Masutha.

He added that the department had also served a letter on a senior official in security management on why she should not be placed under precautionary suspension pending investigations on improper conduct which includes the procurement of surveillance services which led to the department incurring irregular expenditure.

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