Pikitup boss to face music at last

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Copy of Copy of st amandaFILE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Pikitup managing director Amanda Nair

 

Johannesburg - Pikitup’s board of directors has decided to take disciplinary action against managing director Amanda Nair for her alleged role in the awarding of a tender worth R263 million.

Nair is alleged to have awarded the three-year Yellow Plant tender to Aqua Transport Plant Hire, a firm implicated in fraud and corruption.

The Pikitup board took the decision after the National Treasury made damning findings in the awarding of the contract in March last year.

The report recommended the board take action against Nair for “compromising the integrity of the supply chain management system”.

In addition, the Treasury found that the tender was irregular and should be set aside.

Nair controversially awarded the tender despite the bid adjudication committee questioning the decision to award a tender to a company implicated in alleged wrongdoing in a forensic investigation by Ernst & Young.

Before the award, Pikitup paid close to R6m for Ernst & Young to conduct an investigation into several companies providing services to it.

Aqua provides compactor machines that are used in Pikitup landfill sites to reduce rubbish.

Nair was given seven days to make representations to the board from the date of the receipt of the notice, stating reasons why the board should not proceed with disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, insiders have claimed there has been political meddling by certain politicians, putting pressure on the board not to act against Nair.

The Star understands that after the Treasury issued a report in October last year, an independent legal adviser reviewed the report and the recommendations, but reached the same conclusion.

In a letter dated February 24, Pikitup chairman Dr Nomonde Mabuya wrote to Nair: “You are hereby notified that the board of directors of Pikitup Johannesburg has resolved to institute disciplinary action against you in your capacity as the accounting officer, regarding your conduct in the procurement of services for the supply, operation and maintenance of plant and equipment at designated landfills, gardens and depots.

“The board’s decision is based on the recommendations of the National Treasury report on the verification of compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements during the bidding process for supply, operation and maintenance of plant and equipment at designated landfills, gardens and depots.”

Mabuya referred all questions to their communications department.

Asked why the board had delayed taking action against Nair and whether there had been political interference, she said: “Give the board a chance to do what it has to do.”

But several sources said action was long overdue as the board had received the first report last October.

The forensic company recommended that Aqua should be charged criminally for fraud because of alleged irregular activities, including suspected tender collusion. The company should also be made to pay back money it had overcharged Pikitup.

The DA’s Alan Fuchs said: “If this woman is found guilty of having manipulated a tender, she should be fired and face criminal charges. The question is: Why did she award the tender to this company?”

An ex-bid committee member, who was against the awarding of the tender to Aqua, said: “Chickens are coming home to roost. Amanda must face the music. We all warned her about giving a tender to this company.”

When The Star exposed the scandal in June, Nair forked out R500 000 of taxpayers’ money on full-page adverts in other daily newspapers to defend the tender award.

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The Star



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