Limpopo probes tenders after relatives of officials allegedly win bids

In a media statement yesterday, Premier Stan Mathabatha’s office confirmed it has officially launched investigations into the matter.


The Limpopo government has officially launched investigations into allegations of maladministration in the awarding of lucrative security tenders worth hundred of millions of rands at the provincial department of social development. The investigations come right on the heels of allegations that the department had appointed 11 companies to provide security services to its premises in Limpopo’s five regions of Mopani, Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn for three years – from 1 April, 2023 to 31 March, 2026. ALSO READ: Limpopo’s R54m high-tech complex: Youth get a sporting chance Of the 11 companies, three were alleged to have been awarded to…

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The Limpopo government has officially launched investigations into allegations of maladministration in the awarding of lucrative security tenders worth hundred of millions of rands at the provincial department of social development.

The investigations come right on the heels of allegations that the department had appointed 11 companies to provide security services to its premises in Limpopo’s five regions of Mopani, Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn for three years – from 1 April, 2023 to 31 March, 2026.

ALSO READ: Limpopo’s R54m high-tech complex: Youth get a sporting chance

Of the 11 companies, three were alleged to have been awarded to a couple or close family relatives.

Appointed companies

Those appointed are Leledu Security Services, which will be operating at Seshego Zone 3 Welfare offices, Mothiba Clinic, Andrew Mehlape One Stop Centre, Buffelshoek One Stop Centre and Seshego Treatment Centre.

The second is Ompwa Trading, which will reportedly provide security services at Maelula One Stop Centre, Rabali One Stop Centre, Luis Trichardt Magistrate’s Court, Tshitale One Stop Centre, Woman of Culvert, Vuwani One Stop Centre, Mtsetweni Child and Youth Care Centre and Vleifontein One Stop Centre.

ALSO READ: ‘Jobs are waiting’: Youth-led transformation in Limpopo

The third company, Petkay Security, is apparently tasked to provide security services at Mutale and Tshaulu and Tshipise one stop centres and Thandululo Community Based Rehabilitation Centre.

The allegations are that Leledu is owned by a Daniel Phooko, Petkay by Francinah Mathobo while Ompwa is owned by Peter Mathobo and Precious Phooko.

The Citizen has learnt that Precious Phooko is the spouse of Daniel Phooko, while Francinah Mathobo is Peter Mathobo’s wife.

Limpopo tenders

In May this year, The Citizen published an article on similar allegations after the secretary for the Forum of Limpopo Entrepreneurs, Siviko Mabunda, called for the department to reverse the awarding of the tenders with immediate effect, or face an uproar from the forum and the angry and hungry people of Limpopo.

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Mabunda said it was worrisome that so many people in Limpopo live from hand to mouth, because of the lack of jobs, while those with supreme power in air-conditioned offices award jobs to close family relatives, or couples in an effort to get a cut of the payout.

Mabunda said instead of awarding the tenders to relatives, hundreds of Limpopo unemployed families would have been able to put bread on a table instead of just three families.

“We have already written to the Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee and the office of the public protector to investigate this matter.

“We want to know how many companies bid for this tenders, why only these companies got the tenders, what is it that these companies have that the others don’t and whether there is any relationship between the successful bidders and those sitting in the bid evaluation and adjudication committees,” Mabunda said at the time.

ALSO READ: Limpopo ANC forces regional secretary to quit one of his positions

At the time the allegations came to the fore, the department said it was investigating. Now, five months down the line, the provincial government took upon itself to probe the questionable awarding of the tenders, at the same time dispelling widespread allegations that it was moving slowly in its investigation because the alleged perpetrator was “most powerful and untouchable”.

At the time the allegations were first made, the department said it was aware of the allegations surrounding the awarding of the contracts and that investigations were underway.

Allegations ‘of a significant concern’

In a media statement yesterday, Premier Stan Mathabatha’s office confirmed it has officially launched investigations into the matter.

“We have received allegations of maladministration against head of the department of social development, Makwena Julius Mahopo, and we have decided to take immediate action as the allegations are of a significant concern,” he said in a statement.

ALSO READ: ‘Election gimmick’ – Parties slam Sanral’s R1.3-bn road project in Limpopo

“As a result, the Limpopo government has initiated thorough investigations into the allegations. The process will be done with impartiality and diligence, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

“The aim is to gather all the necessary information and evidence to ensure a comprehensive assessment of the allegations.

“Upon conclusion of the investigations, the Limpopo government will provide the public with the necessary announcement and any action to be taken.”

– news@citizen.co.za

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