Supporters of former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are at loggerheads over lucrative government tenders as the ANC’s national elective conference looms in December this year.
So serious is the fight between the two factions that President Jacob Zuma approved the appointment of a special investigations unit (SIU) to investigate allegations of malpractice in the supply chain management of the Mopani district municipality in Limpopo.
The investigation comes after the municipality appointed 13 service providers early this year for bulk water related projects to thetune of R300 million.
The Citizen understands the reason for the investigation by the SIU was fuelled by allegations that some of the companies awarded the tenders failed to meet the supply chain management requirements.
Mopani district municipality’s executive mayor Nkakareng Rakgoale confirmed yesterday that the SIU commenced with investigations last month.
“I can confirm that the SIU is investigating the municipality,” Rakgoale said.
“They still have to meet with me to discuss matters related to their investigations. “But I can confirm that part of the investigation involves allegations of maladministration, fraud and corruption and the alleged wayward appointment of Section 32 tenders.”
Rakgoale said the appointment of the 13 companies was to deal with the backlog in water supply to Mopani and five of its sub-regions.
The outspoken mayor, who is believed to have brought stability to the institution after a seriesof managers and directors were fired for fraud and corruption allegations in the supply chain management unit, did not want to be drawn to comment on allegations that contracts were only awarded to service providers aligned to a faction supportive of Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma at the party’s elective conference in December.
The ANC leaders are elected through branches nominating their preferred candidates, who are then endorsed by the party’s regions and provinces.
The winners are then affirmed by the secretary-general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe. The regional contest in Mopani is between Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality mayor Pule Shai and the sitting regional chairperson, Seaparo Sekoati. With only a few weeks to go to finalise nominations, competition has become so fierce that in some instances police were deployed to guard nominees.
In the Harry Gwala branch in Giyani, police had their hands full separating factions supporting either Ramapahosa or Dlamini-Zuma.At the same time, a man sustained serious injuries during an altercation when disgruntled members of the Mokope branch at the Modjadji Royal Council came to blows after they could not agree on the rightful candidate to replace Zuma.
ANC provincial spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the province has completed the verification process of the nominees for some regions, Mopani included.
“We are currently completing a dispute process for Waterberg.
“All other regions, except for Peter Mokaba, should have completed elective conferences before the end of the winter season,” she said.