Why Mr Julius Malema was not interviewed by the Public Protector during the investigation
On conclusion of her provisional report titled “On the Point of Tenders”, the Public Protector favoured Mr Malema with a copy on 30 July 2012. The purpose for providing Mr Malema with a copy of the provisional report was to afford him and the Ratanang Family Trust with an opportunity to respond to the contents thereof and the evidence considered during the investigation.
The deadline to furnish comments on the provisional report was extended from 13 to 31 August and further to 07 September 2012. The investigation primarily conducted into allegations of improper conduct, including corrupt practices, relating to the awarding of contracts for goods and services by the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport to a company called On Point Engineers (Pty) Ltd and others.
On 14 August 2012 the Public Protector indicated her willingness to conduct an interview with Mr Malema should he still be of the view that it will provide him with a better opportunity to the contents of the evidence referred to in the Provisional Report, as far as it relates to him and the Ratanang Family Trust. He was cautioned that the investigation matters concerned are only finalised when the final report is due.
Despite this, Mr Malema through his attorney replied on 31 August indicating that it does not make any sense that Mr Malema and the Ratanang Family Trust being the centre of the investigation were not interviewed or afforded an opportunity to put their version of events to the Public Protector. It was further stated that the Public Protector’s willingness to then conduct an interview with Mr Malema as belated and in his view, superficial and that he does not accept the invitation to be interviewed at a very late stage.
Based on an analysis of the complaints and the contents of the newspaper articles on which these were based, the Public Protector’s investigation focused on the following key issues:
- Was the awarding of the tender for a Project Management Unit (PMU) by the Department to On-Point Engineers improper and in violation of the provisions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004?
- Was On-Point involved in any corrupt practices in violation of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, in its dealings with other service providers appointed by the Department during its management of the PMU of the Department?
- Did the Ratanang Family Trust and/or Mr J Malema benefit improperly from the tender that was awarded to On-Point?
- Was the awarding of tenders for the Provision of goods by the Department to the other two companies referred to in the allegations, Sizani Build It and Arandi Trading Enterprise improper?
- Was the conduct of the Department, particularly its Head of Department, Chief Financial Officer and members of the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) and Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC), lawful and proper?
The investigation revealed that On-Point has one shareholder, Guilder Investments, which in turn has two equal shareholders, the Gwangwa Family Trust and the Ratanang Family Trust. Mr Malema’s son is the sole beneficiary of the Ratanang Family Trust. Originally, Mr Malema was the sole Trustee and his 83 year old grandmother was later added as a Trustee.
On Point paid more than R2 million directly to the Ratanang Family Trust from November 2010 to May 2012 in the form of “dividends” and loans. The amount of R1 million withdrawn five days after one of the kickbacks was paid under the back-to-back agreements is accounted for in the bank statements as payment towards the Ratanang Farm. Further amounts of R160 000 and R100 000 are reflected as payments for the “Sandton Property” and “Sandown Property.”
The Public Protector only interviews people as witnesses that can provide evidence she needs or as affected persons who need to be given an opportunity to refute something.The Public Protector did not think Mr Malema was either.
For a full report visit:
Spokesperson On behalf of Public Protector South Africa
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
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