28 January 2011 | Nick Martindale
The newly appointed member of the executive council for Gauteng’s roads
and transport department, Ismail Vadi, has asked South Africa’s auditor general
to investigate 13 contracts issued between
September and December 2010.
Most of the
contracts in question were awarded shortly after Vadi was appointed in November
and total more than R1 billion (US$142 million).
“This is an
internal investigation to assess whether there was due diligence by
departmental officials and compliance with the regulatory framework,“ said
general may conclude there was no serious breach, in which case I won’t need to
take any action. Otherwise I will table a document to the legislature to take
the matter further.”
under scrutiny include a three-year, R900 million (US$127million) road
construction deal; a R49 million (US$6.9 million) award for security services at
premises belonging to the department; and a R35 million (US$4.9 million)
agreement for the establishment of drivers’ licence testing stations.
Jack Bloom, a
member of the Gauteng provincial legislature and corruption spokesman for the
Democratic Alliance Gauteng http://www.da.org.za/contact.htm?action=view-page&category=da-in-your-area&province=gauteng#, called for a more comprehensive investigation.
“Vadi’s probe covers only the tip of a very large iceberg,” he said.
investigation should be extended to include contracts awarded in the past five
years by his department, said Bloom.
“There needs to
be full accountability, including criminal charges if indicated, no matter who
may be implicated,” he said. “Efforts should be made to recover as much
misappropriated money as possible.”
A number of contracts
awarded over the past five years by the Gauteng legislature are already the
subject of a separate investigation by the auditor general.