A R1.3 million tender has raised a row between the governing ANC and opposition parties in the Sekhukhune District Municipality in Limpopo.
Opposition parties accused the district’s executive mayor and ANC regional chairperson Stan Ramaila of using government resources to protect his political career, and woo votes for the ANC ahead of the May 8 polls.
At the centre of the controversy are allegations that the tender was awarded without following the supply chain management policies.
The tender, which was allegedly awarded in February, was only advertised in the media a fortnight ago.
The beneficiary of the “sucking/dislodging of VIP toilets” tender is Lethabo Bohlale Ofentse Construction Company, which is owned by a former ward councillor Suzan Mamaila of Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality in Moutse.
Moutse is in the cross-border municipality between Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Mamaila was also allegedly behind a protest which saw containers full of faeces being emptied at the entrance of Ramaila’s office during a service delivery protest.
“Maybe we should also pour faeces at Ramaila’s office in an effort to be awarded municipal tenders,” said Seun Mogotji, acting secretary-general for Bolsheviks Political Party, yesterday.
“Ramaila must know that although our people go to bed everyday with empty stomachs, faeces are never in short supply here in Sekhukhune. So if getting tenders means one should misbehave, then we will.”
Mogotji said his party would like to know how Lethabo Bohlale Ofentse Construction Company was appointed because “we know SCM [supply chain management] policies were not followed.
“We also know the company did not deserve to be awarded the tender because it didn’t qualify.”
Mogotji threatened to report the alleged tender irregularity to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).
“We want to know from the IEC if it is permissible to buy votes using government tenders.”
Mamaila declined to comment on Tuesday, saying she was not allowed to speak on the matter.
Mayor Ramaila downplayed allegations of tender irregularities, saying: “To my knowledge all was above board when the tender was awarded.”
Sekhukhune District Municipality spokesperson Willy Mosoma confirmed the company’s appointment, but branded the Bolsheviks’ claims as baseless and devoid of the truth.