The Department of Transport (DoT) said it was investigating allegations of irregularities in awarding a R13-million tender to manage conference and communication services for its investor conference last year.
This comes as Corruption Watch claimed on Thursday that the DoT paid R10-million more than it could have for services and awarded the bid to a company that had not fulfilled all the requirements of the tender process.
The DoT said it was cooperating with the Public Protector and that it viewed the allegations in “a serious light”.
Communications firm Global Interface Consultancy won the tender to manage conference and communication services for the DoT’s International Investor’s Conference in June last year after submitting a bid for R13 573 708.53.
Corrpution Watch stated that one of the losing bidders, Indigo Design and Event Marketing had submitted a total bid price for R3 837 444.47, about one-quarter of the winning bid.
Indigo Design lodged a complaint with the DoT and the Public Protector. The complaint was also brought to Corruption Watch soon after the launch of said civil society organisation in late January.
Corruption Watch’s further investigation into the DoT tender award revealed “gross irregularities” in the tender process. It also revealed that the controlling shareholder in the winning bidder, Patrick Nyathi, was also registered as a director and shareholder of a web of companies that do business with the DoT and other government entities.
Corruption Watch highlighted the DoT’s failure to disclose Nyathi’s other dealings with government as one of the irregularities in the tender bid.
The civil society organisation handed over the three investigations to the Public Protector for further investigation and possible action.
“Our main goal is to see the cases we take to the Public Protector lead to further investigation facilitated by its statutory powers and, ultimately, referral for criminal prosecution,” said Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis.