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COSATU Today | COSATU Press Statements
COSATU demands probe into lease allegations
12 December 2011
The Congress of South African Trade Unions notes with alarm the allegations by businessman Roux Shabangu that the lease agreement for police headquarters in Pretoria between his company and the Public Works Department - which was the subject of a damning report by the Public Protector – “was in accordance with common practice within the Department of Public Works.”
If there is any truth in this claim, it paints a horrifying picture of unbridled corruption and fraud, involving as much as R200 billion of public money which should have been used to provide services to the poor and needy being poured into the coffers of wealthy property tycoons.
Thuli Madonsela found that the SAPS lease was invalid, as the DPW and the SAPS had bypassed the legal requirements to obtain tenders for state procurement, and that the agreement committed government to expenditure of more than three times the going rate for such premises.
Shabangu however claims that “73% of all lease agreements concluded by the department in Pretoria were through the negotiated bid process and not through tenders” and that his company, Roux Property Fund, “had come across 194 lease agreements in Pretoria between the department and other companies that were concluded without a tender process - the same process followed with the police headquarters in the Pretoria Middestad.”
Shabangu’s allegations are substantiated by the former Acting Director General of Public Works, Sam Vukela, who, in an affidavit, says that the Pretoria SAPS lease was valid because it was impractical to seek competitive bids, and that of 2 950 leases concluded by the department in the past four years a competitive tender or quotation procedure was used in only 447 cases!
COSATU demands that the Minister of Public Works thoroughly investigate these serious allegations. The legal procedures must be immediately reintroduced for all future lease agreements and anyone, in government or the property business, who is found to have been responsible for fraudulent deals must be prosecuted and forced to repay the money they stole from the people of South Africa.
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
1-5 Leyds Cnr Biccard Streets
Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
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