Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma's nephew has rejected claims that he used his political influence to win a R300m bus contract in Port Shepstone, the Weekend Argus reported on Sunday.
Former taxi owner Mandla Gcaba said he had nothing to do with a contract that went to Ugu Transport, a consortium which is 80% owned by taxi operators and 20 percent owned by smaller bus operators, including Gcaba's company Amandla Emicabango Trading.
The contract was awarded without open bidding, upsetting several bus owners who wanted to bid for the opportunity.
"A group of taxi operators won the tender, and then hit a snag. We were approached to help and we came in at that time. I wasn't even there when the tender process happened," Gcaba told the newspaper.
Asked why the tender was not advertised, Ugu district municipality spokesperson Sipho Khuzwayo said the buses "have nothing to do" with the municipality.
"It's a project of the department of transport. Speak to them."
KwaZulu-Natal transport department spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said it had entered into a "negotiated contract" with Ugu Transport because the previous bus operator left and a new one was urgently needed.
According to the report, Gcaba's Tansnat Africa took over the contract for Durban's public transport system in 2009.
This was later declared illegal by a court and has since been run on a month-to-month basis.