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Almost R1 million worth of board games, commissioned by police and meant to be distributed free on Children’s Day in 2008, have been collecting dust in a basement at police headquarters in Pretoria for four years.
The Snakes and Ladders-type game, Dlal’ Ufunde (Play and Learn), was allegedly procured without proper supply chain processes, and payments to the supplier allegedly breached the Public Finance Management Act.
It is unclear how many thousands of copies of the game were produced. The game was designed to teach children about the police and their rank structures.
“Those in charge said the games could not be distributed because the rank structure in the police had changed and it was no longer valid,” said a source who has seen the game.
About two years after it was made, the national commissioner at the time, Bheki Cele, ordered police to revert to military ranks.
“It starts with a trainee field student and moves on to various ranks such as a constable, sergeant, superintendent and senior superintendent. The player who attains the top spot of national commissioner, emerges the winner.”
Special Investigations Unit (SIU) spokesman, Boy Ndala, confirmed they had been requested to investigate claims of irregularities.
“The investigation has been completed and the SIU is finalising its report into this matter. However, we cannot reveal specific details of this investigation.”
National police spokesman Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said they had not received the SIU report. He declined to comment further.
It has also been claimed that no prototype of the game, specifically designed for the police, had been presented to top structures for approval – and that a unilateral decision was allegedly taken to purchase it.
According to the source, questions have been raised over the original tender price, which was allegedly inflated from R633 000 to R988 000.
A Benoni-based company that won the tender was allegedly paid in full for the job on February 26, 2008, three months before the games were delivered.
Details of the cash transfer are contained in financial statements in possession of the Daily News.
The source alleged that the cost rose to finish the particular department’s budget. Other alleged irregular payments to the same company for promotional goods were also being probed, the source said.
“The game was supposed to have been distributed to children around the country as part of Children’s Day celebrations in 2008. But, it never happened. It was dumped in cardboard boxes in a basement of Southern Life building.
“But, last week, it was moved to the first floor of Kudu Arcade at police headquarters,” the source added.
Southern Life building and Kudu Arcade are adjoining buildings that house police headquarters.
“They were moved after questions were raised at a police management meeting about the fate of the games. Management wanted to know why the games had not been distributed.” - Daily News