The leaks reveal that the City has already coughed up more than half a million rand and that tender processes were deviated from to appoint the law firm.
According to confidential council reports, the City has paid just more than R536 000 to the law firm to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in its administration. All other information pertaining to the tender has been blacked out.
Bowmans was to establish if disciplinary action should be taken against one or more of Cape Town’s senior managers - Achmat Ebrahim, the City manager; Melissa Whitehead, commissioner of transport and urban development; and Craig Kesson, executive director in the Directorate of the mayor.
It also dealt with the conduct of Mayor Patricia de Lille, whose computers were seized and later returned as part of the investigation.
The City’s supply chain management requested for a deviation on the tender, but most of the contents of the document have been blacked out with a dark line drawn over critical information. Reasons for the deviation are also not known.
On the list of offers received, there are only two providers. A supplier, listed first, was also blacked out. Bowmans, the second bidder on the list, was not blacked out.
The law firm’s payment and other information is listed on the document.
“It is recommended that the official procurement established be dispensed with in terms of the supply chain management policy due to exceptional circumstances, where it is impractical or impossible to follow official procurement process. It is recommended that Bowmans Incorporated be appointed to render the services for the appointed as independent investigator to investigate the allegations of misconduct,” a part of the document read.
Bowmans Cape Town were approached for comment. The firm’s Melody Makeke, promised to respond, but did not do so by deadline.
Rumours have also surfaced that Guy Harris, father of Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris, who is chairperson of the audit and performance audit committee of the City of Cape Town, influenced the appointment of Bowmans. Harris, however, has refuted these claims.
“There is no connection between myself and Bowmans. Would be interested in getting details of the rumours. I am in a board meeting out of town and there is nothing I can add, having dismissed it as only a rumour,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson was unable to comment on the matter of Bowmans.
“The audit committee appointed the investigators and they are responsible for it. I am not at all involved in that process,” he said.
Mayco member for finance Johan van der Merwe said the matter was under investigation and that a full report was yet to be released.
Meanwhile, an audit opinion of the auditor-general has pointed a finger at senior managers who have failed to compile adequate reports.
Earlier this year, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he withdrew a job offer for De Lille in Parliament as a result of the City’s audit opinion, which has regressed.
“The regression is as a result of the slow response by leadership to address action plans and emerging risks,” the audit opinion read.