Specialised Commercial Crimes Court hears Digital Vibes ‘did not meet some requirements’

Lizeka Tonjeni at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Lizeka Tonjeni at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 5, 2022


Pretoria - The Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria has heard that the Digital Vibes communications agency was recommended for government contracts despite its failure to meet some of the mandatory requirements.

This was revealed during the testimony of Simon Rapulane, the provincial manager of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent in the Free State, who acted as the deputy head of the bid adjudication committee in 2018.

Rapulane informed the court that he was roped in to act because the chairperson of the adjudication committee, the chief financial officer, who was supposed to have been the chairperson, was held up with other work commitments.

According to the him, the adjudication structure’s role was to look at the report provided by the bid evaluation committee.

He said according to the report and scoring sheets given to them, it was recommended that Digital Vibes be appointed as the service provider.

Rapulane said the committee was only given scoring sheets of the various bidders. Digital Vibes scored the highest average of 68.33.

He said the terms of reference and mandatory requirements were a crucial component of the decision-making process.

Legal counsel for the State said Digital Vibes was given the highest score despite negative comments by some members of the evaluation committee, who cited concern by the company’s project lead not being in possession of an Honours degree nor at least 10 years of experience.

This was something Rapulane could not comment on, as he insisted that the adjudication committee was only given the scoring sheets of the bidders in making the final appointment.

He did, however, indicate that the committee he chaired had met on a few occasions to peruse the bidder’s documents and verify the process flow of the evaluation committee.

The matter was postponed to today, with the legal counsel of the accused, Lizeka, Tonjeni to begin his cross-examination.

Tonjeni, the director for executive support in the office of Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent chief executive, is on trial for allegedly accepting bribes of up to R160 000 from Digital Vibes.

Pretoria News