Emfuleni municipal manager under fire for allegedly stalling criminal probe
The Emfuleni Local Municipality’s municipal manager, Lucky Leseane, is under fire for allegedly stalling criminal investigations against his senior officials responsible for the irregular expenditure of more than R670-million.
This is according to a letter by forensic company, Comperio Consulting, which was appointed in November 2018 to probe irregular expenditure through the illegal award of tenders to various companies in the Vaal.
Comperio concluded its investigations into the following companies, Aurecon South Africa; Red Ants; Mafoko Security Patrols; BBP Security/Wesizwe Risk Solutions; Brilliantel Telecommunications; Gijima AST Holdings; Meso Automation; Fleet Horizon Solutions; Dikopane Project Management; Vaal Toyota/Hallmark; Fleet Data Technologies; Fleetmatics VMS; Amasondo Fleet Services; Sungu-Sungu Projects and Sihinu Attorneys.
Compero CEO Elsje Oosthuizen said the investigations were concluded, and the findings reported to Municipal Public Accounts Council (MPAC) during November 2019.
According to Oosthuizen, contracts awarded to these companies were not concluded in line with the terms and conditions of the contracts concluded by the other organ of state, i.e. contract periods (termination dates).
“The process was managed and controlled by Senior Officials and not the user department as per their needs, resulting in contracts not being managed and controlled by the user department.
Awards had not been submitted to the Bid Adjudication Committee for approval and all documentation to substantiate the process were not available to substantiate the process followed through a competitive bidding process," wrote Oostehuizen.
She added: “Tenders were disqualified for not complying with the minimum requirements although found to be compliant and the scoring of the Bid Evaluation Committee was altered resulting in tenders been awarded to another company and not the company with the highest scoring points."
She further said that contracts been awarded to companies although not complying to the minimum requirements i.e. submission of valid Tax Clearance Certificates and CIPRO documents; and all documents not available for review to substantiate the process followed in the awarding of the contracts.
Oosthuizen said as a result of these irregularities, the Municipality incurred irregular expenditure totalling R670 595 793.74.
In her letter dated July 29, Oosthuizen said their failure to recover the funds and take She wrote to Leseane saying: “It is however very difficult to continue with the disciplinary hearings, criminal processes, and recovery of monies without the support of your office. We received full cooperation from Council, MPAC and the Office of the CFO. The same can however not be said of your office.
“The success of the processes i.e. criminal, disciplinary and recovery depends on the support of your office. This has a severe impact on the recovery process as the Municipality only have three (3) years to recover the monies of which only two (2) years are left. "
She said her consulting agency has teamed up with the Hawks to investigate these cases.
In his reaction, Leseane said he was not officially notified about Comperio’s letter which was also sent to Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile and President Cyril Ramaphosa including the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).
“I got the letter through social media. It is for that reason that I wrote to Comperio asking them to clarify their letter or they must withdraw it,” Leseane said.