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A company owned by the Mpumalanga businessman accused of forgery and fraud faces a police inquiry and a Sars probe over a multibillion-rand deal.
The R2.3 billion contract awarded to Herbert Theledi’s Amalgamated Logistics has been referred for investigation, according to a report by outgoing Auditor-General Terence Nombembe.
Amalgamated Logistics was first awarded a contract to procure, store and distribute pharmaceuticals and surgical equipment in January 2003. A second contract ran from April 2006, said Nombembe’s report.
The contract included the cost of the medicine that Amalgamated Logistics was distributing.
Nombembe found that Amalgamated was overpaid by about R20 million in its management fees. The contract the company had with Mpumalanga’s health department stated that its management fee would be fixed at 7.75 percent of the value of the pharmaceuticals it would distribute. However, the department increased that, by 10 percent, to 8.53 percent.
Nombembe said the department had misinterpreted the management fee increase to be 10 percent, which resulted in the R20m overpayment to Amalgamated Logistics.
Amalgamated had not signed a service level agreement for its 2006 contract because the department’s officials had not followed handover procedures, the report says.
This had resulted in Amalgamated Logistics’ deliverables not being adequately monitored and evaluated, said Nombembe.
The 2006 contract was extended four times over 17 months, according to the attorney-general.
Nombembe found that the department needed the company’s expertise to help with the relocation to a new pharmaceutical depot, which had been delayed due to problems with the installation of shelves and furnishings. The delay resulted in three contract extensions.
On the same day Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza appointed Dikeledi Mahlangu as health MEC in May 2009, the department launched a forensic investigation into Amalgamated Logistics’ performance.
Nombembe says the probe had not been completed by the time the company’s contract ended in August 2010, despite paying about R800 000 for the investigation.
Last year it emerged at the Pretoria High Court that Amalgamated Logistics had been paid R4.4m a month for its Mpumalanga contract.
This was after a losing bidder for the contract, Vuna Healthcare Logistics, approached the court after Safarmex had been awarded the contract.
Amalgamated Logistics, Vuna, and PharmCon were eliminated from the tender process after the bid evaluation committee found their tender prices were not realistic.
In 2008, the North West High Court set aside another multimillion-rand contract awarded to Amalgamated Logistics for the management of the Mafikeng central pharmaceutical warehouse and the distribution of pharmaceuticals to the province’s public hospitals.
Tshwane-based Kawari Wholesalers, one of the bidders for the North West contract, said there had been serious irregularities in awarding the contract.
Theledi is also Nthwese Developments’ chief executive and a partner of telecommunications firm Blue Label, owners of ZOK Cellular, selling branded prepaid vouchers to Zion Christian Church members, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs supporters.
Theledi and Mpumalanga health spokesman Ronnie Masilela did not respond to queries this week.