Prepayment of R21.8m was made for Beitbridge border fence, court hears

The case brought by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is being heard in the Johannesburg High Court.

The border fence that separates South Africa and Zimbabwe near the Beitbridge border post, near Musina, on in October 2020. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Beitbridge border fence trial has heard that one of the irregularities in the project was the prepayment of R21.8 million before the work commenced.

The case brought by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was being heard in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

The R40 million border fence was found to have been irregular and the Department of Public Works and the SIU are trying to recover the millions of rands involved in its construction.

However, the Beitbridge border fence contractors say government got what it wanted for the project.

Contractor ProfTeam Construction’s advocate has submitted that his clients have been subjected to “character assassination”.

The SIU said it was supposed to bring in a number of expert witnesses but it couldn’t because they feared for their lives.

But Advocate Etienne Theron - representing the respondents - said the proper construction of the R40 million fence would have cost more than R300 million.

He said the professional engineer was on site daily and updated the Department of Public Works.

Theron said his clients performed according to the specifications.

Judge Lebogang Modiba said she had a lot to consider and referred to in terms of case law added that and the judgment would be ready either by the end of the year or early next year.

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