Outa wants Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane to probe Minister Bathabile Dlamini for allegedly misleading Parliament.
THE Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has asked Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane to probe former minister of social development, Bathabile Dlamini, for allegedly misleading Parliament on multimillion-rand tenders to train youth and provide awareness to beneficiaries of grants.

Yesterday, Outa’s Dominique Msibi filed a formal complaint with Mkhwebane, alleging that Dlamini, who is now the Minister of Women in the Presidency, contravened the Executive Ethics Act when she gave contradictory responses to questions asked by the DA in Parliament.

According to Msibi, Sassa invited proposals from potential service providers to be “accredited” for the provision of Project Mikondzo Events Management Services to be performed through outreach programmes for a period of three years.

The closing deadline for the project was February25, 2016. The terms of reference were to recruit, train and manage youth workers and to provide education and awareness campaigns for social grant beneficiaries. On July4, 2016, Sassa awarded a tender to Azande Consulting and Vee El Promotions.

Msibi says that Dlamini, when asked about the Mikondzo contract, told Parliament that the accreditation was awarded to Azande Consulting and Vee El Promotions on June23, 2016.

In total Sassa paid out R80.7million to Mikondzo after the accreditation date - R52.4m for Azande and R28.3m for Vee El Promotions.

According to Outa, Azande was paid R235m from June 2016 to August last year.

According to Outa, Azande was also given a R488m tender as part of the Integrated Community Registration Outreach Programme.

“Both contracts were advertised as calls for businesses to register to work on these projects, using an additional Sassa database that was effectively outside the National Treasury central supplier database. Parliament immediately raised concerns, but these were downplayed and ridiculed by the minister,” Msibi said.

“The real concern was never addressed: Why did Sassa award single contracts as opposed to spreading the contracts among a group of service providers?"

Msibi said evidence has shown that both tenders were granted without following due process, and were for services that could either have been performed in-house or were entirely unnecessary.

Msibi also asked Mkhwebane to take action against all Sassa officials who approved the tenders.

The Ministry of Women said it would respond today.