Motsoaledi vows to act over irregular Home Affairs-EOH tender worth R409m

The contract, awarded to technology services company EOH, was for migrating data on the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to a new Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS).

FILE: Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday promised that no stone would be left unturned in dealing with those responsible for a dodgy R409 million contract.

The contract, awarded to technology services company EOH, was for migrating data on the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to a new Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS).

The contract was processed and awarded by the State Information and Technology Agency (Sita) on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs some years ago.

However, master files with details of the tender went missing, which left the Auditor-General with no option but to declare the entire contract value as irregular expenditure.

Parliament’s Home Affairs committee on Tuesday was told that the contract was now the subject of a forensic audit, and that “reconstructed files” related to the EOH tender had been given to investigators. The Sita project manager in charge of the contract had since died.

Members of Parliament (MPs) across the political spectrum indicated their impatience with the length of time it was taking to resolve the matter, asking why it took so long for an investigation to be launched as forensic auditors were only appointed in March.

Motsoaledi, who inherited the problem when he took over as Home Affairs minister in 2019, told the committee that he would be able to act immediately once any wrongdoing was determined, including pursuing criminal charges.

“We can’t let this matter slip through our fingers, we can’t let it go. I am as angry as members here because I am now being dragged in front of this committee to try and answer questions about the deeds of other people,” Motsoaledi said.

The minister said that investigators were interviewing individuals about the tender.

Motsoaledi and Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams - who could not attend Tuesday’s meeting - were told to report back to the committee in the first week of October.

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