Following the publication of names of companies and individuals that have benefitted from COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) related procurement tenders, The Sunday Times have reported that North-West Premier Zamani Saul may have engaged in croneyism and corruption when approving contracts for friends and associates.
One of the names on the list of successful bids for tenders in the Province is the wife of Norman Shushu, who is Saul’s special advisor, and another dubious contract was awarded to a company that has seemingly being deregistered by the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for noncompliance.
It would appear then, that if you need a tender in the North-West province – you better call Saul.
Branding agency awarded tender not registered with CIPC
The Sunday Times reported that tenders amounting to over R27 million were award to a company belonging to Sonandla Christopher Saul, who is the owner of Macronym 37 – a branding agency in Kimberley. He is also understood to be a close friend of Saul.
Macronym 37 have been under scrutiny by the CIPC for not having paid tax returns since 2017.
Sibisi dismissed the allegations when probed by the newspaper, saying that all he was in danger of having done wrong was having been photographed with Saul at various African National Congress (ANC) events.
“So the crime is that I went to an ANC event and took a picture with the premier. I am not close to the premier and I don’t know him personally. He is my leader,” he told them.
Shushu sealed R13 million PPE tender
The wife of the Premier’s special advisor – Shushu – is also understood to have benefitted from sealing a 13 million tender to supply the provincial government with a million masks. The masks are understood to have been destined for South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province.
“Please go talk to the police, they will confirm everything to you. I did not receive a tender and I have nothing further to say on this matter,” she told The Sunday Times.
They however, allege that public documents show that an order of R6.5 million worth of masks was made by the SAPS, and that her husband – Norman – had confirmed that the tender was awarded but had not been completed due to the conflict of interest that concerned him.
“When I became aware of it, I impressed on [my wife] to cancel it because of the position I hold in government. I knew that it was a matter of time before it became controversial,” he said.
SAPS approved PPE procurement deals
Controversial indeed, with the collapsed deal with the police coming on the back of reports that the Hawks are currently investigating four separate PPE procurement deals worth R540 million, after suspicions were raised about the legitimacy of the contracts.
Tsa Bophelo Medical Supplies and Logistics, Tombo Investments, Basadzi Pele Management Consulting and the Before Sunset Group are under the microscope , with a Brigadier Mahlangu, who declined to give the Sunday Times her first name, having said that her approval of the purchase order for masks procured by Shushu was legitimate.
“I granted verbal authorisation because I had received everything via my cellphone and didn’t have a printer to print, sign, scan and e-mail the documents back. But make no mistake, I approved on the basis that all documents were in place,” Mahlangu told the Sunday Time.
The South African has reached out to the Saul on Sunday 30 August but has thus far not received a response from the Premier.