ANC turns to public protector over tenders

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Songezo Mjongile oct 30 Independent Newspapers ANC Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile File photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - The ANC has lodged a complaint with the public protector over allegedly corrupt tenders worth almost three times more than Nkandla, awarded to a troubled company by the DA-run Western Cape government and City of Cape Town.

ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile filed the request for an investigation with the public protector’s provincial office in Wale Street on Monday.

Mjongile said the ANC had discovered there were 21 liquidation applications against Filcon Projects after it failed to pay its suppliers.

The party believed there was a “political hand” in awarding the contracts to Filcon managing director Saul Loggenberg, Mjongile said.

Mjongile also submitted documents, which he said proved there was fraud, but which would not be made public until the investigation was complete.

At the public protector’s office on Monday, Mjongile told representative Richard van Rensburg that the party felt there had been a breach of the Financial Management Act in the awarding to Filcon of construction contracts the ANC alleged were worth R600m.

Filcon, which recently applied for business rescue after filing for bankruptcy, was awarded multimillion-rand contracts to, among other things, refurbish city-owned flats in Manenberg and extend a school in Atlantis for the provincial government.

The projects were left in limbo when the company ran into financial difficulties. Late last month, Filcon applied for business rescue in the Western Cape High Court.

Van Rensburg told Mjongile the complaint would be screened to determine whether the office had the jurisdiction to investigate. It could take up to five days.

It would then be handed over to an investigative team if there were grounds to investigate, Van Rensburg said.

Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle said the company had numerous directors and they could not do background checks on all.

He said the provincial government checked what was required by law.

Although he felt it was a “waste” of the public protector’s time, Carlisle supported the ANC’s move.

“I’m inviting Mr (Cameron) Dugmore to my office to see all the documents relating to Filcon and interrogate all the people that were involved in the process,” Carlisle said.

He said, contrary to reports, Filcon’s contract with the department for construction of the school was worth about R50m.

Patriotic Alliance president Gayton McKenzie said the party had also lodged a complaint with the public protector’s office about alleged irregularities in the contracts awarded to Filcon.

McKenzie said the party was concerned that such allegations were “kept relatively quiet for so long” by the provincial government.

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Cape Times

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