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DA and ActionSA welcomes Edwin Sodi SIU investigation

The Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works. Picture: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA)

The Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works. Picture: Masi Losi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 26, 2023

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Johannesburg - ActionSA has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s proclamation into Edwin Sodi’s R295 million corruption probe.

This comes after Ramaphosa authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe the City of Tshwane’s R295m contract to refurbish the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Plant on Monday.

Ramaphosa signed the proclamation authorising the SIU to probe allegations of maladministration and corruption in the Tshwane metro, which includes R250m for the water project contract.

ActionSA Gauteng provincial chairperson Funzi Ngobeni said the probe is a victory for the people of Hammanskraal, who have suffered cholera outbreaks due to water problems in the area. He said the probe came more than a year after ActionSA submitted its own findings from the commission of inquiry into the Hammanskraal water crisis.

“The report exposed that the City of Tshwane violated the Municipal Systems Act by failing to provide residents with safe drinking water and other services. The municipality has turned a blind eye for nearly two decades as citizens struggled to access clean and consumable water, subjecting them to hardship and horrible living conditions,” Ngobeni said.

Ngobeni said there was big corruption, pointing to the involvement of a businessman who is said to be connected to some ANC political leaders.

“Based on the evidence gathered in the inquiry commissioned in 2021, it was suggested that the contract was corruptly awarded to two companies owned by Sodi, who were inexperienced and unqualified to lead the refurbishment of Phase 1 of the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works.

"This proclamation brings hope that justice will be served and that change will be achieved as we continue to fight for the residents of Pretoria,” he said.

The DA, through Tshwane caucus spokesperson Kwena Moloto, said the investigation was a positive move towards ending corruption.

“This investigation represents a significant milestone in our commitment to eradicating corruption within the City of Tshwane. The DA has been resolute in dismantling the intricate web of corruption and political favouritism that was inherited from the previous administration. This mission remains ongoing, and the current investigation stands as a pivotal moment in our continuous efforts to rid the administration of corrupt officials,” Moloto said.

Sodi’s company, Blackhead Consulting, is one of the companies implicated in the corrupt water project and currently faces counts of fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering for a R255m Free State asbestos contract.

The Rooiwal water plant project is one of many projects the controversial businessman is alleged to be involved in.

This project was meant to ensure that parts of Pretoria around Hammanskraal had clean drinking water, but the project was botched, recently leaving at least 15 people dead from a cholera outbreak in May.

The Star