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Johannesburg - The Hawks have launched an investigation into the alleged fraudulent activities at Pikitup relating to dodgy tenders the utility awarded.
This comes after six Pikitup officials accused of financial mismanagement in a forensic audit report were suspended recently for their involvement in the awarding of tenders.
Aqua Transport Plant Hire was one of the firms accused of fraud in the audit report.
On Tuesday, it was unclear if any action was taken against Aqua or whether it formed part of the Hawks’ investigation.
Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko confirmed they were still busy with the probe.
Aqua was implicated in alleged wrongdoing in a forensic investigation by Ernst & Young.
The audit firm investigated irregular activities as well as dodgy contracts awarded to several service providers between 2010 and 2011.
The investigation recommended that Aqua should be charged criminally for fraud because of alleged irregular activities, including suspected tender collusion.
Several people, including Pikitup employees, were implicated over wrongdoing in the explosive report.
Ernst & Young recommended that disciplinary action be taken against Pikitup’s employees and that criminal charges should possibly be laid against some of the companies involved, including Aqua.
Pikitup boss Amanda Nair awarded a multi-million-rand tender to Aqua earlier this year. This was despite a bid adjudication committee questioning the decision to award a tender worth R263m to a firm implicated in alleged fraudulent activities.
In a meeting with the municipal public accounts committee last week, Nair said the Ernst & Young report had been handed to the Hawks, and investigations were under way.
She also said six officials who were implicated in the report had been suspended, while eight were given written warnings.
When The Star enquired from Pikitup if Aqua was among the companies that were being investigated by the Hawks, advocate Lester Peter, Pikitup’s executive director: legal compliance, environment and safety, said: “We are not in a position to respond to the issues pertaining to the forensic report, especially now that The Star’s unlawful possession of the report is sub judice.”
Pikitup has made an application at the Johannesburg High Court demanding that The Star return the Ernst & Young report and refrain from publishing its contents.
DA chief whip Alan Fuchs said: “Everybody who was implicated should be investigated.”