NATIONAL NEWS - Following a statement issued by Gauteng MEC for education and youth development denying any wrongdoing or involvement in the tender dispute of a company that sponsors a soccer team he is linked to, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Gauteng Premier David Makhura to investigate whether proper procedures were followed.
According to a statement drafted by the party’s provincial shadow MEC for finance and e-government, Adriana Randall, In2IT Technologies has recently been awarded a R30-million cybersecurity tender.
In2IT Technologies is also one of the sponsors of Swallows FC – a shadow club to Soweto giant Moroka Swallows. According to Kick Off Magazine, Lesufi founded Swallows FC with the hopes of resurrecting the fallen fourth-tier club. The club is now partly owned by members of the public who were invited to purchase shares in 2017.
The DA alleges that the Covid-19 pandemic was used to rush through the procurement process in this particular tender process.
“The DA has been reliably informed that the MEC for finance Nomuntu Nkomo-Ralehoko requested permission from the national minister for communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to deviate from the normal procurement processes.”
“We have also been reliably informed that the company which won the tender was thoroughly prepared despite only having 24 hours to submit all the necessary documents.”
This is contrary to Lesufi’s statement which says that he was not previously aware that the company was involved in said tender dispute.
“I was not involved in this tender nor was I lobbied by the company or the department of government to support the bid,” said Lesufi
“However, as a person who strongly believes in leadership beyond reproach, I have since asked Swallows FC to immediately resume the legal and administrative processes to terminate the R150k per month sponsorship without necessarily insinuating that the company is guilty or not.
“It must be stated when the team was registered with the PSL, I recused myself from the ownership of the team.”
The DA has declared that appropriate action should be taken against Lesufi and that he must be removed from office if it is found that he used his influence and position to help In2IT Technologies procure the tender.
The party also welcomed what they call “swift action” taken by Makhura in investigating the previous contract that was awarded for the outsourcing of its cybersecurity contract that led to the irregular expenditure of over R100 million.
The party concluded by vowing that it would closely monitor the progress of the investigation into the cybersecurity contract and table follow-up questions on the In2IT technologies tender.
On Tuesday, the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirmed that the unit would probe the tender in question.