Suspended Buffalo City Metro (BCM) municipal manager Andile Fani has been declared guilty on three charges related to R74m tender.
Fani who was the the accounting officer for Buffalo City Metro was charged to court for flouting the Municipal Finance Management Act when he appointed Cape Town-based company Asla Construction to build houses in Reeston‚ and supply top structures for some at the cost of R74-million.
This was revealed by the metro’s chief financial officer‚ Vincent Pillay who crafted a report in 2015 after which the metro’s former mayor, Alfred Mtsi placed Fani on suspension last August.
According to investigation reports Mtsi tabled in council last October, Asla was only appointed to build houses in Duncan Village‚ but its scope of work was extended to Reeston even though tender processes were not followed.
Fani authorized the contract‚ which included project management‚ a geo-technical investigation and an environmental impact assessment.
Following proper investigation, an internal disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, found him guilty on three charges which include:
- Signing a roads and stormwater tender with Asla without having followed “formal competitive procurement processes”‚ and as a result he failed to take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised‚ irregular or fruitless expenditure;
- Flouting procurement procedures when he confirmed the appointment of the same company for the construction of 453 top structures in Reeston’s Stage 3 phase 2; and
- Flouting supply chain management processes when he approved construction of 550 additional top structures by the same company
A sum of R2-million had been paid to the company by the time the finance department stopped further payment last year. The company challenged the nonpayment of R7-million due to it in the Grahamstown High Court.
BCM BCM won the case as it challenged the lawfulness of its own actions.
The court declared the awarding of the R74-million Reeston contract as unlawful and set it aside last month.
In 2012, Fani was embroiled in a scandal over qualifications for the coveted job when he was appointed as permanent city boss of the Buffalo City metropolitan municipality
The qualification in question is a certificate in municipal finance management – a requirement from the National Treasury from 2013. It set him apart from other candidates, according to a confidential council report.
But the Local Government Seta – an institution that accredits service providers that provide training, and the South Africa Qualifications Authority (Saqa) at that time, distanced themselves from the qualification saga.