Tender scandal exposed

By Time of article published Sep 21, 2009

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By Anel Lewis

Metro Writer

The net is closing on a Johannesburg consultant who charged the City of Cape Town R26-million to manage the Jewellery City project that never got off the ground.

It is understood Thabo Mokwena's Johannesburg house and other assets are soon to be attached by sheriffs of the Western Cape High Court in an attempt to recover some of the money. The high court has ordered Mokwena to repay R2,6m in unlawful consulting fees.

The city's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) will get a full briefing at the next meeting in October. It is not known yet how much will be recovered.

The Cape Times exposed the tender scandal in 2005, when it emerged that Mokwena, head of TMC Consulting, was being paid R1 200 an hour for a contract that did not go to open tender.

Former mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo and then-municipal manager Wallace Mgoqi signed Mokwena's contract just days after he did a presentation on the Jewellery City concept. Mokwena was the former chief executive of the South African Local Government Association.

Scopa will also get a report on the pursuit of assets of Full Swing Trading cc. A summons has been served on Full Swing's director. The company was paid R3,3m for a "social facilitation project" via a contract awarded without a tender process.

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