Service provider linked to Matlosana CFO booted out for fraud

Tiisetso Sebetlele’s Variegated Pty Ltd was booted out of the Lekwa-Teemane municipality after it emerged the company had won a tender after submitting fraudulent documents. Picture: Facebook.

Tiisetso Sebetlele’s Variegated Pty Ltd was booted out of the Lekwa-Teemane municipality after it emerged the company had won a tender after submitting fraudulent documents. Picture: Facebook.

Published May 26, 2024


A Variegated Pty Ltd company linked to the Chief Financial Officer of the city of the Matlosana municipality in the North West, was booted out by the Lekwa-Teemane municipality for submitting fraudulent documents for a R10 million contract it was awarded last year.

The Sunday Independent has seen the falsified documents submitted by Variegated Ltd, a company owned by Tiisetso Sibetlele.

Last month, the Sunday Independent reported that the same service provider (Variegated Pty Ltd) was paid R3 million by the suspended Matlosana Municipality CFO Mercy Phetla, for electrical materials that were allegedly not received by the municipality.

In the Lekwa-Teemane matter, Variegated Pty Ltd allegedly forged CIDB grading which closed on August 24, and was awarded the R10 780 608.30 project for the construction of paved roads and stormwater in Utlwanang Ext 5, North West.

According to records, the invitation to bid for this tender had called for CIDB registered contractors at Grade 6CE or higher.

However, Variegated (Pty) Ltd was appointed as the successful bidder despite the Board’s Register of Contractors records indicating that at the time of tender advertisement, tender closing, tender evaluation, and tender award on September 7, 2023, Variegated (Pty) Ltd did not qualify for such works as they held a grading of 5CE, 2GB and 1EP respectively.

This raised concerns among other bidders who knew about the fraudulent CIDB grading.

Between October and November, the bidders wrote an anonymous letter to the Mayor of the Lekwa-Teemane municipality questioning the award.

“After all the appointment processes were done and letters of appointments issued, it came to our attention that Variegated was a successful bidder for X 2 projects.

“On our investigations in terms of the fairness of the process and why a single company could be successful in X 2 projects, we discovered to our shock that in fact, the company did not have the required CIDB grading as it only has Grade 5CE while the projects required grade 6.

“We have confirmed with the CIDB that this company does not have grade 6 as it is listed as grade 5CE on their system. It is therefore our conclusion that the company could have submitted fraudulent documents to be awarded these tenders,” read the letter.

The complainants emphasised that this was an act of fraud, corruption, and misrepresentation in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

“We request that the Municipality immediately suspend these contracts and institute internal investigations and get to the bottom of this. Criminal actions are also being instituted by the CIDB and the council/municipality must lead by example,” read the letter.

A CIBD letter dated November 28, confirmed that Variegated (Pty) Ltd submitted applications for the Grade 6CE upgrade, which were all rejected on October 31, 2023, and November 3, 2023, respectively.

Variegated got wind of the letter and decided to save face on December 13, and voluntarily withdrew from the project on December 13, 2023.

On January 23, former Municipal Manager Ms B Ngunqisa wrote to Variegated PTY terminating the contract.

“It is also recorded in the Legal letter to the contractor dated 12 December 2023 attached, that there has been fraudulent misrepresentation by Variegated (Pty) Ltd.

“It is further noted that Variegated (Pty) Ltd withdrew from the project with immediate effect.

“Based on the above and with specific reference to clause of the General Conditions of Contract, 3rd Edition 2015 (GCC): “If the contractor has furnished inaccurate information in the returnable documents completed at tender stage and forming part of the contract, then the employer may, after giving fourteen (14) days written notice to the contractor, (with specific reference to this clause) to remedy the default, terminate the contract and order the contractor to vacate the site and hand it over to the employer.”

“In this case, the fourteen (14) days written notice does not apply given the circumstances cannot be remedied.”

“Having stated the above, Lekwa-Teemane Local Municipality is terminating the contract between Variegated (Pty) Ltd and the Municipality in terms of Clause”

Clause 9.2.2 of the GCC further states that, “Should the amounts the Employer must pay to complete the works exceed the sum that would have been payable to the contractor on due completion by him, the contractor shall, upon demand, pay to the employer the difference,” read the letter.

The municipality indicated it would assess the completion of the project if there was a need for financial compensation from the Contractor per this clause.

Variegated owner Tiisetso Sebetlele did not respond to questions from the publication.

The Lekwa-Teemane acting Municipal Manager Jefferson Leseisane did not respond to the publication citing that the matter involved third parties.

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