Public Protector meets with Afriforum Youth, COPE and City Press

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela today gave an audience to Afriforum Youth and the Limpopo division of the Congress of the People (COPE) leaders, Mr Ernst Roets and Mr Ike Kekana, respectively, over the concerns regarding her findings in the investigation into the ten municipalities that awarded tenders to SGL Engineering Project, a company linked to ANC Youth League President Julius Malema.

In a separate meeting, the Public Protector also met with City Press’ Editor-in-Chief Ferial Haffajee and journalist Piet Rampedi. In its coverage of the Public Protector, the City Press, which was the first newspaper to publish the story about the alleged irregular awarding of tenders, has been critical of the findings.

The purpose of the two meetings was to give Afriforum Youth and COPE, as complainants in the case, and the City Press, an opportunity to table their concerns regarding the findings and map a way forward.

While both the complainants and the City Press expressed their dissatisfaction on certain parts of the findings and how the investigation was conducted, they also accepted that the Public Protector’s findings were informed by the lack of evidence to prove that there was political influence on the municipalities involved to award the tenders to SGL Engineering Projects.

Clearing some of the misunderstandings, the Public Protector said she had made no finding on whether some of the tenders were awarded improperly or not because there were no proper record keeping at some of the municipalities involved. She explained that she had, however, made a finding that the municipalities had violated the Municipal Finance Management Act by not keeping the said records and that this constituted maladministration on its own.

The Public Protector told the two meetings that in the event of new information coming to light, she would consider re-visiting the matter after assessing the matter with the assistance of internal quality review panel.

“If there are compelling reasons, we may re-look at the matter as a new investigation,” she said.

For more information, contact:

Oupa Segalwe
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Public Protector South Africa
Tel: (012) 366 7035
Cell: 072 264 3273

Published Date: 
Thursday, September 30, 2010