CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government on Sunday slammed the leaking of the Public Protector's draft report of an investigation into a controversial communications tender.
Thuli Madonsela’s draft report is said to have declared the contract between Western Cape government and advertising agency TBWA/Hunt Lascar invalid.
The report allegedly says the 2010 contract, to centralise communications, should be terminated.
Madonsela told Eyewitness News that she expects to deliver her final report by May 31.
The African National Congress (ANC) called for the investigation of the contract last year, claiming that proper tender procedures were not followed.
Premier Helen Zille has maintained that there was no wrong-doing on her government’s part, and on Sunday called an urgent media briefing on the matter.
Zille said the leaking of the contract had compromised their rights.
Madonsela's report was leaked to the City Press a week before the province was due to respond to it.
Zille said she has been struggling to make contact with the Public Protector since last week.
Madonsela’s provisional report found that two of Zille’s special advisors, Ryan Coetzee and Gavin Davis, should not have been on the bid evaluation committee awarding the tender.
The report allegedly finds their involvement unlawful, but also states that the advisors participation did not manipulate the tender process.
The premier said according to their senior counsel, advocate Geoff Budlender, Madonsela's conclusion to terminate the contract is “legally flawed and cannot be sustained”.
Budlender argues that that there is no clause in the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act, the Treasury Regulations, or the Accounting Officer’s System that explicitly or implicitly prohibits the involvement of special advisers in a bid evaluation process.
According to the City Press, the contract amount was capped at R70 million a year for two years. The paper also reported that the contract provided R1.5m for “once-off deliverables”.
Zille disputed the alleged value of the contract.
She said she plans to meet with Madonsela this week, to discuss the report.