Independent Online

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

SIU bid to recover R1m PPE overpayments postponed

The Special Tribunal has postponed the Special Investigating Unit’s application to have several personal protective equipment contracts reviewed and set aside as well as recover almost R1 million in overpayments. File image.

The Special Tribunal has postponed the Special Investigating Unit’s application to have several personal protective equipment contracts reviewed and set aside as well as recover almost R1 million in overpayments. File image.

Published Jun 15, 2022

Share

Johannesburg - The Special Tribunal on Wednesday postponed the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) bid to recover nearly R1 million in overpayments from a Mpumalanga company that supplied Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE).

Middelburg-based Zeelwa Trading was awarded five contracts valued at R1.34 million to supply the Mpumalanga Department of Social Development with hygienic services and to provide PPE goods.

Story continues below Advertisement

The SIU investigated the contracts to determine whether there was any price inflation and if the proper procurement processes were followed in awarding the deals.

According to the corruption-busting unit, it uncovered R905 000 in overpayments to Zeelwa Trading.

”Zeelwa overcharged the department in that the prices of PPE goods were not in line with the National Treasury instruction,” the SIU found.

As a result, the unit instructed the office of the state attorney to brief counsel to recover the amount of nearly R905 000.

The matter was set down to be heard by the tribunal this week, but the SIU asked for a postponement in order to secure witness statements and the attendance of two of its witnesses, who are scheduled to testify during the trial.

The SIU wants the Special Tribunal to review and set aside several contracts the department awarded to Zeelwa Trading to supply PPE.

Story continues below Advertisement

In its papers filed at the tribunal, the SIU states that there was a lack of compliance with the applicable constitutional, statutory and regulatory provisions in awarding the contracts.

Zeelwa Trading opposed the SIU’s application to postpone the matter, saying the unit did not meet the requirements for the case to be postponed.

The company also complained that it was being prejudiced by the proceedings brought by the SIU as it mainly trades with the government.

Story continues below Advertisement

In addition, Zeelwa Trading expressed its unhappiness due to the travelling and accommodation costs it incurred to attend the trial at the tribunal’s seat at the Booysens Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg.

However, Special Tribunal president Judge Lebogang Modiba was not convinced and confirmed the order she made on Monday postponing the trial to a date to be arranged by both parties’ legal representatives.

The Saturday Star

Story continues below Advertisement

Share