Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha.  Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

No disruptions expected after Bosasa prisons food contract cancelled

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Feb 26, 2019

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Cape Town - Days after disgraced facilities management company Bosasa filed for voluntary liquidation, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha announced that his department had served the entity with a 30-day notice to cancel its prison food contract.

“This was the last contract the Department of Correctional Services had with African Global Operations or any of its subsidiaries,” Masutha said when briefing media on Bosasa contracts.

This comes after it announced voluntary liquidation last week after major banks FNB and Absa announced they would close its accounts after its allegedly corrupt activities were exposed in the Zondo Commission.

Masutha said the department had developed a business plan to ensure that provision of services at prisons was not disrupted.

National commissioner Arthur Fraser said should there be any immediate disruption, they would have trained staff deployed to kitchens to assist and ensure there was continuity of service.

Masutha also said the department was investigating contracts related to electronic monitoring, the Independent Development Trust on fencing projects and procurement of various services in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The Special Investigating Unit has made findings on the irregularity of contracts related to infrastructure assessment and electronic monitoring systems, which matters are currently the subject of litigation in court.”

Masutha said the contract with Sondolo IT to provide services at courts would continue.

“The department was left with no option but to keep the services of Sondolo IT, pending appointment of a new service provider on a quotation basis. This process is expected to be finalised soonest.”

The Sondolo IT contract expired last October, but there was bungling in the procurement processes leading to the department being saddled with a month-to-month contract.

He said a senior official in security management was served with a letter asking her to show why she should not be placed under precautionary suspension pending the outcome of the investigation into allegations of improper conduct.

The secretary of the Zondo Commission has already been placed on special leave pending investigations into allegations of impropriety contained in testimony, Masutha added.

Masutha has defended himself from any perceived inaction by his department to institute civil litigation in matters involving Bosasa.

“No contract was ever brought to my attention showing signs of irregularity that I simply turned a blind eye to. I challenge anybody who has one to point it out to me,” he said.

Political Bureau

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