NATIONAL NEWS - Afriforum confirmed that they have laid a charge of corruption against Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi for allegedly being involved in the awarding an unlawful contract to the IT company In2IT Technologies.
The organisation said the charge was laid at the Wierdabrug police station in Centurion on Tuesday.
“In2IT signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Moroka Swallows soccer club on 17 July 2019 and Lesufi is the club’s president. Hardly nine months later, the Gauteng department of finance and e-Government awarded In2IT a tender worth R30 million without following the tender process and before the minister of communication could approve the suspension of the tender process.
“The tender was awarded to In2IT within 24 hours after government had requested tenders. Thereafter, Treasury raised its dissatisfaction with the process that was followed to award the tender,” the organisation said in a statement.
The MEC responded to Afriforum’s corruption charge against him saying: “If boredom was an organisation, your obsession with my name is shocking.”
Earlier last month, Lesufi denied any wrongdoing or involvement in the matter after the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Gauteng Premier David Makhura to investigate whether proper procedures were followed.
AfriForum’s chief executive officer (CEO) Kallie Kriel said South Africa could not afford the plundering of taxpayers’ money through corrupt tender processes – especially during the Covid-19 crisis.
Kriel argued that unlawful tenders should be opposed, especially those in which the names of senior politicians like Lesufi were mentioned.
He said Lesufi never denied in his reaction on the tender debacle that he had known about this tender.
“Lesufi’s decision – that the Swallows had to terminate the sponsorship – was taken only after the unlawfulness of the tender award to In2IT had come to light, which is an admission that the tender process had indeed been unlawful.
“If Lesufi’s association with In2IT wasn’t unlawful, why else then would he terminate his soccer club’s relations with the company the moment that questions about the tender started surfacing?” he said.
Kriel also expressed his concern over Lesufi’s close ties with Tshepo Mokoena, one of In2IT’s directors as Mokoena could have benefitted directly from the contract that was unlawfully awarded by the Gauteng government.
“The company Bahwiti of Dawid Mogashoa, chairperson of the Swallows (the same club of which Lesufi is the president), also has a contract with government to provide it with vehicle tyres,” the CEO said
Kriel said he hoped that a comprehensive police investigation will shed more light on the serious questions that arose about the tender that was awarded to In2IT, and that those who acted unlawfully were brought to book.