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Premier prompts SIU to investigate security contract

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Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Gauteng premier David Makhura.

Gauteng premier David Makhura has asked the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to probe the controversial provincial Security Operation Centre contract.

Makhura says he is concerned about allegations the multimillion-rand tender was irregularly awarded by the Department of e-Government. The premier wants immediate action taken if the allegation of impropriety is established.

“Over the years, we have done tremendous work to promote clean governance and ethical leadership in Gauteng. The introduction of the Open Tender System and the Ethics and Anti-corruption Panel is about eliminating corruption.

“The Provincial Government will continue acting decisively on the allegations of corruption.”

The intervention by the elite investigative unit comes on the back of similar calls by MEC for finance and e-government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko and the Democratic Alliance that the alleged irregularities must be investigated.

ITWeb revealed last week that cumulative irregular expenditure incurred by the e-government department over its cyber security contract now stands at R104 million.

However, it has since emerged that the department also incurred additional irregular expenditure of R200 million between 2009 and 2011 on the same contract.

For the two years, the department paid R199 708 523, which was declared irregular, according to documents seen by ITWeb.

Nkomo-Ralehoko has confirmed the expenditure incurred through the contract which was held by Gauteng Security Operation Centre (G-SOC), and its predecessor.

At the weekend, news reports emerged that officials in the department used the cover of COVID-19 to rush through the appointment of a new service provider without proper tender processes.

The City Press reported the R30 million contract was concluded within 24 hours.

In2IT Technologies, the company that won the tender, has since denied the allegations of impropriety regarding how the contract was awarded.

The contract was first flagged in 2018, when head of treasury in Gauteng Nomfundo Tshabalala wrote to the then head of e-government, declining requests to extend the contract.

Tshabalala said in light of the deficiencies identified in the contract, Treasury cannot approve because: “This contract and all related expenditure is declared irregular on the basis of poor planning that resulted in continuous extensions.

“This poor planning was not addressed by the department in issuing a tender that was subsequently cancelled.”

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