A senior official in a district municipality in Limpopo has allegedly been channeling lucrative tenders worth millions of rand to companies under the ownership of her husband
Report has it that the senior official who goes by the name Kgomotjo Lebopa, an assistant director for expenditure at Mopani district municipality, awarded tenders worth millions to her husband’s companies at the time she was acting chief financial officer.
Lebopa was appointed as a member of the bid adjudication committee for the period between December 18 2013 to June 30 2014 and at that time, her husband Matome Duke Ramalepe benefited immensely from the municipality as she pushes the millions rand award to at least six of his companies for work like equipping of boreholes, drilling, testing and removing and repairing of sewerage pumps, including a household sanitation programme, among other services.
One of Ramalepe’s companies also supplied 80 toilets to the value of R640000 in 2014.
According to Sowetanlive, Lebopa has been accused of failing to declare interest in any of the bidding processes she adjudicated upon, let alone any relationship she had with the bidders despite the fact that she was a member of the committee that recommended winners.
“The declaration of interest and oath of secrecy form completed by Lebopa in relation to the various projects awarded to companies with links to Ramalepe indicated that Lebopa had declared no interests in the tenders nor [relations] to any of the bidders,” reads the report.
However, Kgomotjo Lebopa, refuted such claims, she said it was not true that she had not declared. “My declaration form is in the hands of the municipality,” she said before referring further inquiries to her lawyer.
Meanwhile, finance minister Pravin Gordhan has earlier, warned public servants not to award tenders to their friends or relatives as such reckless awards will impact have its on many generations to come.
“If we don’t do the right things today‚ build the right systems‚ put in the right culture and encourage the right behavior and do right by the majority of the population in SA‚ then there will be consequences for future generations‚” Gordhan told the audience‚ largely made up of procurement officials from state departments and parastatals at the Public Finance Management conference in Johannesburg.
Gordhan further reminded the public officials to be mindful of their choices as “the choices that we make as professionals and‚ indeed‚ as politicians as well… does influence what happens in the immediate environment…”
“If we choose to give contracts to our friends… choose not to monitor and manage those contracts well‚ if we do not ensure that every cent of the trillion rands that is going to be spent by government in the 2016/17 provincial and national budgets — probably another R400-billion‚ as far as local government is concerned — we can legitimately be asked by our people whether are we looking after their money‚” he added.
Though all effort to get in touch with Ramalepe proved abortive, the District spokesman Neil Shikwambana confirmed that Lebopa had various charges preferred against her leading to her dismissal from work.
“She was taken through a disciplinary process which found her guilty and recommended expulsion,” said Shikwambana.