Saturday, July 31, 2010

South Africa - Minister instructed DG to suspect tenders in contravention of the law

[itweb] Communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda had issued instructions to dismissed Department of Communications (DOC) director general Mamodupi Mohlala to suspend all tenders, according to Mohlala's affidavit.

Mohlala, yesterday, filed an urgent application with the Labour Court to have her dismissal overturned on grounds of legality and unfairness, that she be allowed to resume her duties immediately, an that the minister had no authority to dismiss her.

An annexure to her founding affidavit is a letter from Alfred Mashishi, Nyanda's chief-of-staff, instructing Mohlala to suspend a range of tenders including those for the development of remuneration guidelines of non-executive directors of SA Post Office, Sentech, SABC and Icasa; the appointment of service providers to investigate suspected fraud from the forgery of official signatures with regards to the staged NEPAD meeting from 4 to 7 May; appointment of a service provider to advise the department on Telkom's BEE status, and others.

The instructions to suspend the tenders, Mohlala alleges, were issued to her first via SMS and then the letter stating “Listed tenders but limited to these only”, was sent. However, Mohlala says in her affidavit that there was a typographical error and that the headline should have included the word “not” and so it meant other tenders had to be suspended too.

Nyanda issued a statement on 15 July denying that he was involved in the issuing or adjudication of tenders.

Mohlala claims in her affidavit that in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, it was she, as director general and the department's accounting officer, who had the authority and responsibility in relation to procurement processes.

Attached to Mohlala's affidavit is a letter sent to her by Nyanda saying that the Auditor General had advised all ministers to provide oversight on financial matters.

“It is on this basis that you were instructed to suspend the tenders issued only until I had spoken to you about them. It was not an instruction to permanently suspend any tender process and/or delay any such processes for an unreasonable time, and I deny that any such conduct in any way constitutes any form of unfair labour practice,” Nyanda states in that letter.

Nyanda instructed Mohlala to suspend tenders

No comments: