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Special Tribunal rules R10m scooter contract was unlawful and invalid

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize at the launch of the scooter project in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Eastern Cape Health Department

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize at the launch of the scooter project in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Eastern Cape Health Department

Published May 31, 2021

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Johannesburg - The R10-million tender awarded by the Eastern Cape Health Department to Fabkom Pty Ltd for the delivery of 100 scooter ambulances has been declared unlawful and invalid.

The Special Tribunal issued its judgment on the tender on Friday, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said.

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"The decision by the Eastern Cape Health Department to award a tender to the fourth respondent, Fabkom Pty Ltd, for the supply of scooters with side-carts for the amount of R10 148.75 is reviewed and set aside," the Special Tribunal ruled.

No cost order was made.

The controversial contract caused havoc when it made the news last year.

The ambulances appeared to be unsafe despite the intention for them to be used to transport Covid-19 patients. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize was seen testing the scooters last year during his visit to the province.

The SIU had interdicted the department to stop it from continuing with the contract and making payments towards it. The SIU found that the procurement process was irregular and unlawful. It also found that there were possible instances of dishonesty and collusion which favoured Fabkomp.

"The SIU investigation revealed the Fabkomp tender failed to satisfy all the requirements for compliance and functionality. Despite this, Fabkomp was recommended as having scored 100% in all the set evaluation criteria,“ the unit said on Monday.

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The SIU's referrals recommended administrative action and disciplinary action against health MEC Sandiswa Gomba.

Gomba was fired by Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane in February.

The SIU has since forwarded its findings to the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority for further investigations.

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