The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
As efforts to put an end to tender fraud and looting in government are accelerated, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan has uncovered an attempt by an ANC official to defraud KwaZulu-Natal of R184m. This comes as the South African public is still reeling from the discovery that Covid-19 relief funds have been misused by various state entities, including the department of labour, provincial departments and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). In one case, GCIS allegedly paid about R15,000 for a digital thermometer, which sells for less than R1,000 in shops, to check for signs of Covid-19. The rampant corruption has led President Cyril Ramaphosa to speak out via a letter to the ANC. In it, he admonishes members for using state resources to benefit themselves by setting up fake companies to bid for lucrative tenders. However, it appears that Ramaphosa has a mammoth task on his hands as evidenced by the story of this ANC KZN official who was caught trying to ‘steal’ R100m. – Bernice Maune
By Bernice Maune
Upscale Property, owned by Thulani Xulu, a KwaZulu-Natal ANC MPL, and Rebosis Property Fund, a company founded by Dr Sisa Ngebulana were shortlisted to receive a contract to provide office space to the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
However, a tip-off from an insider at the department alerted Ngebulana that Upscale Property would receive the contract, despite it not meeting the basic requirements of the tender.
O’Sullivan then conducted an investigation which discovered that Xulu had enlisted his daughter, Silindile as the sole director of the company, paving the way for him to receive the funds as a silent partner. Tender documents also reveal that Upscale Properties had submitted a tender bid for R184m while Rebosis Property Fund had tendered for R79m, a difference of R104m.
According to the investigation, Upscale Property was set to be awarded the contract despite not having a business location or office, no employees are listed on their company documents and the company was opened three weeks before the tender bid.
In addition, documents show that;
- Silindile is Thulani’s daughter and he is the co-owner of the company
- Mr SS Buthelezi is employed by the Public Works Department and is listed as the Deputy Director of Supply Chain Management. He approved the tender bid by the Xulus despite seeing evidence that it did not meet the requirements.
- Upscale Property was likely created as a vehicle to siphon funds from the treasury as it has no history of providing leasing services.
- The company has no digital presence nor has it engaged in any business prior to the tender bid.
See documents below detailing the alleged tender fraud:
Who is Paul O’Sullivan and why is he fighting the bad guys? Listen to this fascinating interview with him, on The Alec Hogg Show:
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.