Madonsela rules WC tender contract 'improper'

Public Protector finds evidence of maladministration in WC communications tender procurement

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

PRETORIA - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Friday found evidence of maladministration in the procurement of a communications tender by the Western Cape government.

But she said she cannot make a finding to declare the tender unlawful.

In 2010, the tender was awarded to advertising agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris to help the provincial government develop a communications strategy.

Madonsela was asked to investigate, among others, whether political influence played a role in the awarding of the contract.

The final report found that Democratic Alliance leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's decision to include special advisors on the tender bid evaluation committee was both ill-advised and improper.

But unlike in the draft report leaked to the media in May, Madonsela has not found the contract to be invalid.

"In my report I do talk to provisional findings which took a particular view and affect that I cannot make a finding of unlawfulness."

Zille said she does not think her government's spending on re-advertising the controversial communications tender was frivolous.

"The entire affair was a waste of the protector's time and wasted taxpayer's money which would have been used on service delivery."