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Johannesburg - Pikitup managing director Amanda Nair spent R228 000 of ratepayers’ money on advertorial to slam stories written about her in The Star. She has also tried to prevent journalists at The Star and the Sunday Times from writing about an incriminating forensic report.
But now the Pikitup board has decided to commission an independent probe into Nair’s awarding of a R263 million tender to Aqua Transport Plant Hire after the company was implicated in fraud in a forensic investigation.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services Matshidiso Mfikoe has confirmed that the board met this week and discussed the awarding of the tender to Aqua, resolving that the “process of awarding should be reviewed”.
“We had asked the City of Joburg to help us in appointing a reputable legal entity to review the awarding of the tender.
“The MD is not suspended, she is still at work, but we will implement whatever recommendations that come after the review,” Mfikoe said.
Over the past few months, The Star ran a series of stories about how the Pikitup boss had awarded a yellow plant tender (to compress refuse at a landfill site) to Aqua despite the Bid Adjudication Committee questioning her decision.
The special meeting took place on Tuesday to discuss the awarding of a tender to a company that was implicated in wrong-doing in an Ernst & Young forensic probe.
That investigation recommended Aqua should be charged criminally for fraud because of alleged irregular activities, including suspected tender collusion.
Ernst & Young said the company should also be made to pay back money it had overcharged Pikitup.
DA chief whip and spokesman on Pikitup Allan Fuchs welcomed the decision by the Pikitup board to commission an independent review.
“We commend the City of Joburg for finally breaking their silence in this mater and indicating that an independent review will evaluate the dynamics.
“We don’t want to pre-judge the inquiry but we hope and trust that it will not be a whitewash,” Fuchs said.