Security companies, municipality fight over tender

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A legal fight between some of South Africa's top black-owned security companies over a multimillion-rand tender awarded by the Rustenburg local municipality is playing out in the North West high court in Mahikeng.

At the centre of the war is Mabotwane Security Services and Ally's Counter Force battling over a three-year contract worth almost R300m.

Mabotwane took the municipality to court after the local government awarded the tender to the two companies instead of one as stipulated in the tender advertisement.

The Joburg-based company successfully interdicted the commencement of the tender after judge Annah Kgoele granted an order stopping the municipality from implementing the tender earlier this month.

Mabotwane's biggest gripe was that according to the tender that the municipality wanted to award, they were going to be required to provide 62 guards in less-risk areas for just under R700,000 per month, while Ally's was going to enjoy the bigger chunk of posting 456 guards in other areas including high-risk ones for over R8m per month. The tender required the successful company to provide a total of 518 guards for the municipality.

They also argued in their legal documents that Ally's was not compliant due to a number of technical shortcomings and were therefore not suitable for the job.

After they successfully secured the interdict, Mabotwane will now go back to court to argue the second part of their application, which is to have the contract reviewed because the appointment of Ally's "was irregular and unlawful".

In their application, Mabotwane argued that Ally's was disqualified when bids were considered for technical compliance because they failed to tick certain technical requirement boxes.

Mabotwane also accused their competitor of not being tax compliant, among others.

"... it is unfathomable how the second respondent's [Ally's] bid could further have been evaluated for functionality and price/preference. There is simply no way in which the first respondent [the municipality] could have awarded the bid to a bidder whose bid submission was disqualified for lack of technical compliance.

"On this basis and this basis alone, the appointment of the second respondent as a service provider is unlawful and the decision to accept the second respondent's bid should be reviewed and set aside," reads the court papers.

Documents seen by Sunday World also show that the bid adjudication committee recommended both companies for appointment and also recommended that a legal opinion be sought on the recommendation to appoint two security companies while the tender documents stipulated that only one successful company was supposed to have been appointed.

The documents also show that Mabotwane emerged top after scoring 10 out of 10 points during the technical evaluation process.

Hwibidu Security Services came second after scoring six out of 10 points while Ally's came third with five points.

The technical report also stated that the technical evaluation team could not verify Ally's firearms accreditation and the address of their offices was not verified as they had just moved to the new premises, which were in the process of being registered under the name of the company.

Ally's lawyer Mandla Tshabalala said they deny all allegations and challenged Mabotwane to prove their case.

Municipal spokesperson David Magae said the matter was sub-judice and they will only comment once the matter had been finalised in court.

Maobotwane did not respond.

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