The EFF in Limpopo has opened a fraud and corruption case against Education MEC, Polly Boshielo and departmental head, Onicca Dederen regarding a feeding scheme tender that was “wrongfully awarded”.
The so-called red berets, led by provincial chairperson Jossey Buthane, also included members of the evaluation and adjudication committee when they laid the charge at the Polokwane Police Station recently. The party claims the officials were biased during the feeding scheme tender evaluation process resulting in the awarding of the tender to a certain company last week.
The awarding process of the multi-million rand feeding scheme tender has since been halted through an interdict by the Polokwane High Court, citing complications in the awarding process. Last week the party called on Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebani and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate all departmental tenders that have been taken to court.
Buthane said there were external forces that influenced who these tenders were awarded to.
“As we speak we are waiting for a case number. The award process of the feeding scheme was influenced by external forces who are known to be proxies of established ANC politicians in Limpopo. The intervention from law enforcement is needed in that department, as meddling and corruption shenanigans are at their peak, collapsing good governance,” said Buthane.
He said they had evidence that there were companies that had scored higher in the tender process than the one that was awarded it and the company that was awarded it was “new”.
“You can’t have a tender being advertised today and then the tender gets awarded to a company that is registered two days later. It can’t be. There is foul play. Another thing that we are accusing them of is… changing specifications during the evaluation and adjudication processes,” he said
When asked why they had opened a case against Boshielo and Dederen instead of the members of the adjudication and evaluation committee as they were the ones who awarded the tender, Buthane said: “The MEC is on record saying she was going to appoint people from outside to oversee this feeding scheme process. But she never did that,”
“Also, she and her head of department should have played oversight in the process. If they had put their foot down these people would not have been awarded it. So it’s either they agree with the corruption or they are just not hands-on,” said Buthane
Department spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said they were aware of the case. “The Limpopo Department of Education is aware of the statements and legal processes related to the National School Nutrition Programme. We will comment in due course.”