Thomson Reuters probes chief justice IT tender

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Business information services provider Thomson Reuters has suspended work with a subcontractor on the controversial R225 million IT contract with the office of the chief justice.

The company announced yesterday it has launched its own probe on the matter, and as a result, it has halted working with ZA Square, which holds 30% of the contract.

The move follows an outcry by various organisations, which demanded suspension of the contract and a thorough probe into the role played by ZA Square directors, all former staffers of the office of the chief justice.

“We beseech chief justice Raymond Zondo and National Treasury to suspend performance on this contract (including withholding any disbursements that may have fallen due consequent the commencement of the agreement) pending the conclusion of a thorough investigation of this highly-suspicious deal,” pressure group Public Interest SA said on Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported earlier this week that ZA Square had been created just five days after Thomson Reuters won the contract, and its three directors (Casper Coetzer, Nathi Mncube and Yvonne van Niekerk) had played a role in the selection process, which led to the granting of the contract to Thomson Reuters.

The office of the chief justice has since launched an investigation into the matter. Nonetheless, Thomson Reuters has begun its own probe, saying it “operates with the principles of trust and integrity”.

“During this investigation, all work with the subcontractor, ZA Square, has been put on hold.”

The IT contract is meant to streamline delivery of justice in the country through CaseLines, a Thomson Reuters-owned cloud-based digital evidence collection and case management platform that allows for court documents to be filed from multiple repositories and disseminated digitally, primarily to officers of the courts.

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15 Aug
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