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R1.4m tender ‘kickback’ probed

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Nearly three months after The Sunday Independent revealed that Human Settlements director-general Thabane Zulu allegedly received a mysterious R1.4 million connected to a controversial tender, three government agencies are still “waiting for documentation”. And he is still at work.

While the Hawks, the public protector and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have confirmed that they are investigating, the probes seem to be at an initial stage.

The Sunday Independent reported in April that the money was deposited soon before Zulu took part in the awarding of a R10 billion contract.

Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela confirmed that they were probing the matter after a complaint from the DA. “The complaint was referred to us last month. We are gathering necessary information for our investigation.”

SIU spokesman Boy Ndala said: “We have requested and are awaiting relevant documents to assess if we are able to motivate for a proclamation to investigate or refer the matter to another agency.”

Public protector spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi said the investigation was still at an initial stage.

“Documents are still being requested from the parties who can assist with the investigation.”

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said Zulu had personally referred the matter to the SIU and the public protector, with his backing. He added that after receiving reports from these institutions, he would then apply his mind and take a final decision, “as it would be inappropriate to act before receiving such reports”.

Zulu previously denied any wrongdoing, but he could not be reached for comment this week.

It is alleged that Zulu received the money from a black economic empowerment company that stood to benefit from the R10bn social grants distribution tender soon before his adjudication committee awarded the contract to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

CPS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Net1 UEPS Technologies.

According to documents in our possession, an intermediary deposited R2m into the business account of African Access Information and Communication Technology on behalf of the BEE company. A few days later, African Access transferred R1.4m into Zulu’s account.

Zulu is a former director of African Access.

Zulu and his lawyer, Naren Sangham, had denied ever receiving the money, but subsequently admitted receiving it.

gcwali.khanyile@inl.co.za

Sunday Independent


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