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Fresh SAA tender scandal comes as Treasury stalls tabling reports

May 22 2017 09:14

Cape Town – The latest report of corruption at South African Airways (SAA), which allegedly saw an employee benefit financially after forging documents as part of a R13.6m tender, comes as Parliament’s oversight of the state-owned airline battles to gain sight of a variety of investigative reports.

That is according to Alf Lees, a Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament who sits on the Standing Committee on Finance, which has oversight of SAA.

“For six months the DA has been pursuing all possible avenues to ensure that a raft of forensic investigation reports into SAA are tabled in Parliament,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

This followed a report in the Sunday Independent, which cited a report compiled by a law firm that investigated a R13.6m CCTV maintenance and installation tender, which was awarded to Vusubheki Management Services last February without due procurement processes being followed.

“In the report, released last month, SAA’s sourcing specialist Naomi Kwinda is accused of compiling a fake document with forged signatures of the airline’s senior management to ensure the contract was awarded to Vusubheki Management Services, an IT security solutions company headquartered in Kempton Park,” the paper explained.

“The report reveals how the tender was never presented to the bid adjudication committee for approval and how the submission compiled by Kwinda addressed to SAA’s acting chief executive, Musa Zwane, requesting approval of the evaluation criteria and condonement of the flawed tender process, was not signed by the chief executive.”

It recommends that Zwane explain his role and that “SAA lodge a criminal case of forgery against Kwinda for falsifying signatures of senior officials at SAA”.

Lees said that Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi last week committed to provide copies of about 15 reports dating back to 2010. He plans writing to  Buthelezi to get his formal commitment to a date to provide the committee with the reports.

“These reports were promised to the finance committee by the previous deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, more than six months ago, but despite reminders and PAIA applications, and stalling for time, none have been delivered.”

“The initial refusal to make the reports available still raises suspicions and was a direct reneging on a firm commitment given by … (Jonas),” said Lees. “This also left a distinct impression that it was an attempt to cover up information.

“The thought is appalling, especially considering SAA’s tainted record of dubious deals and wasteful management of public money, ultimately the money of South African people, with the most recent being SAA’s projected loss of R 4.5bn for 2016.”

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