Sita defends award of R10m deal

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Mzwandile Petros1 Independent Newspapers. Former Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros. Picture: Nicholas Thabo Tau.

Johannesburg - The state information and technology agency (Sita) has defended its decision to award former provincial top cop Mzwandile Petros' company a R10 million deal to recover three stolen laptops, the Sunday Times reported.

“The minister (then Lindiwe Sisulu), the chairperson and I took a decision to appoint the company - even though it wasn't on our database or had a track record - because we needed someone with experience in the police - someone who can link the information quickly and someone we can trust,” Sita chief executive Freeman Nomvalo told the newspaper.

“You must understand that the burglary wasn't a pure crime. It was done by highly trained people,” he said.

iFirm, the company belonging to Petros - the former Gauteng police commissioner - was hired in March to investigate a burglary at the Sita offices in Centurion that had taken place on February 28 in which three laptops were stolen.

Soon after being awarded the deal - the company was then paid R3 million - before it had even obtained a VAT number.

Petros confirmed to the Sunday Times that his company only obtained a VAT number after receiving the initial R3 million.

“When the first payment of R3 million was made, there was no VAT number and subsequent to that the VAT was applied for. It's a section done by SARS and the VAT number was given.”

Meanwhile, Nomvalo declined to disclose who had recommended Petros' company.

Petros served as Gauteng commissioner for nearly three years. Previously he was the provincial commissioner of the Western Cape for seven years. - Sapa

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