SIU: DoT flouted process in appointing PPE service provider for taxi sector

The SIU briefed counsel through the office of the State Attorney, with the instruction that a review application be brought in the Special Tribunal involving more than R24 million.

Picture: @vm_africa/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation has determined that the national Department of Transport failed to follow a proper and lawful procurement process in the appointment of service providers for the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) items required by the taxi industry.

The SIU briefed counsel through the office of the State Attorney, with the instruction that a review application be brought in the Special Tribunal involving more than R24 million.

This is for failing to comply with Section 217 of the Constitution and involves three companies, two of which have been linked to Santaco’s CEO.

The president has authorised the release of the final SIU report into procurement by all spheres of government for goods, works and services associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: SIU's final report on COVID procurement contracts

Final Consolidated Report for Proclamation R23 of 2020 122021 Excluding Ongoing Matters by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

In its summary of findings in their probe into three companies under the Santaco Hlokomela Coronavirus Project, the SIU found that the association’s CEO, Nkululeko Buthelezi, was linked to two companies – Ecko Green and Mistralog – that were awarded contracts by the Transport Department.

According to the report, Mistralog, which made a profit of R348,000, was found to have charged excessively when compared to the prescribed Treasury threshold.

This was by 34%, also revealing that the company was not registered with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) and while the department had procured its services on an urgent basis, there was no evidence to support the implied urgency.

Meanwhile, Ecko Green, which made a profit of R1.7 million was found to have misrepresented and manipulated its central supplier database profile and was not registered on the database when the contract was awarded.

A paper trail revealed that Buthelezi received a portion of the profit in both instances.

In September last year, the SIU referred its evidence to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against Ecko Green and Mistralog and its representatives.

It also recommended that the two be blacklisted from doing business with the state.