File picture: Denis Farrell

Johannesburg - Corruption Watch intends to approach the SAPS to investigate the five-year, R10 billion contract for the distribution of social grants for potential corruption in the award of the tender to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a subsidiary of Net1 UEPS Technologies.

Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said yesterday that the public advocacy agency would urge the police to undertake an investigation into allegations of bribery surrounding the contract, which the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) awarded to CPS in 2012.

“The presence of irregularities in the tender process begs the question: in whose interest were these irregularities perpetrated, and why?”

On Thursday the Constitutional Court declared the contract invalid and ordered Sassa to issue a new tender. Corruption Watch participated as a friend of the court when the matter was argued late last year. The body submitted that irregularities in a tender process were red flags indicating possible corruption, adding that the contract had to be terminated in the interest of justice with minimal disruption to the payment of social grants to about 15 million beneficiaries.

Lewis said last night that the police should have investigated earlier with or without the court ruling.

“If they decline to undertake an investigation we will explore other options, including the possibility of a private criminal prosecution,” he said. - Business Report