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Military veterans’ company was ‘used’ to secure lucrative tender and then immediately ‘sidelined’

2020-02-27 01:00

Military veterans have been left high and dry by a private company which scored a R41 million tender at Mogale City.

City Press has learnt that the office of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the Hawks are investigating “irregularities” associated with the tender which was won by Pro Secure in August 2018.

Two month later, Pro Secure subcontracted Mogaka Security Services, a company owned by military veterans, with a promise that 30% of the main contract would be shared with it.

According to the tender document, dated January 12 2018, and seen by City Press, Pro Secure was supposed to subcontract to a company owned by military veterans – in this case Mogaka Security Services.

“The successful tender must subcontract a minimum of 30% of the value of the contract to an exempted micro enterprise or qualifying small enterprise which is at least 51% owned by black people who are military veterans,” reads the tender document.

The tender was meant for the deployment of security guards at municipal facilities for a period of 36 months, starting from October 1 2018.

But, since then, 90 veterans, who were to be deployed to protect several municipal sites, have been waiting for their jobs, as promised, but to no avail.

City Press has seen an affidavit – dated November last year and filed by Mogaka Security director Johannes Morake – to Mkhwebane and the Hawks detailing how the company was allegedly sidelined by Pro Secure from the inception of the contract.

Morake alleges in the affidavit that, as part of its contract, Pro Secure was to identify sites to be manned by Mogaka Security Services.

“Regrettably, immediately after the subcontracting agreement was signed, Pro Secure declared its intention not to abide by the signed agreement.

“To date Mogaka Security Services has not set foot on site at the instance of the blatant and fragrant disregard of the main contractor’s abdication of its contractual obligations to both the client [Mogale City Local Municipality] and Mogaka Security Services,” Morake said in the affidavit.

He said his company was invited to a meeting with Pro Secure when an offer was allegedly made by a Pro Secure business manager Florence Nokuzola Moselepe to Mogaka to sell its 30% share to Pro Secure.

They subsequently presented what in legal terms can only be referred to as a nuisance value offer. To be specific, they offered us R3.6 million
Mogaka Security director Johannes Morake

City Press has established through records that Moselepe and Mogale City municipal manager Pringle Maanda Raedani were former directors at Barena Funeral Brokers, a previous relationship which sources said raised questions about the awarding of the tender.

However, it appears that both have resigned from the funeral brokerage. It is unclear if they resigned before or after the tender was issued.

Moselepe and Mogale City had not responded to questions at the time of going to print.

Morake alleged that at the meeting with Pro Secure, the company had made an offer to Mogaka, saying it believed it would be easier for its team to run the project on its own.

“[It was a] strange development, because they never were vested with such powers. Furthermore, such an arrangement would automatically render Pro Secure’s appointment non-compliant and, thus, unlawful.

“This started raising alarm bells with us.

“It instantly dawned on us, that Mogaka’s appointment was merely a means to an end ... we were merely appointed for the purposes of aiding Pro Secure to meet the peremptory compliance conditions,” Morake said in the affidavit.

He said they called Pro Secure’s bluff and accordingly asked it to place an offer on the table.

“They subsequently presented what in legal terms can only be referred to as a nuisance value offer. To be specific, they offered us R3.6 million.

“We became convinced that they were just bluffing and that the municipal manager [Raedani] and the executive mayor [who is now deceased] were both involved in wrongdoing, when Mosepele, whom we believe is acting as a front for Pro Secure, told us they were not in a position to give us the money as it was not readily available.

“This, she [Mosepele] said, was because Pro Secure had recently given R3 million to the [late] mayor and the municipal manager.”

He said they rejected the offer and advised Pro Secure that they felt that abandoning this opportunity would defeat the purpose the project was intended to achieve.

It is an investigation into the alleged irregular awarding of a security tender by the municipality,
Public Protector

“We explained that we were keen to embark on this project to ensure we gained experience and would accordingly be empowered through the exposure we would get working with Pro Secure, as a much bigger company.

“This refusal seemed to precipitate the end of our relationship with Pro Secure as they simply stopped communicating with us any more, despite numerous calls to them and visits to their business address in Krugersdorp and Durban.”

Morake said they tried to get their issues resolved by representatives at Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office but they were sidelined. Instead, Raedani had a meeting at the premier’s office.

City Press has seen letters from Mogaka’s lawyers to Pro Secure and Mogale City before the matter was elevated to Mkhwebane and the Hawks.

Mkhwebane’s office acting spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed that an investigation was under way.

“It is an investigation into the alleged irregular awarding of a security tender by the municipality,” Segalwe said, adding that the probe commenced in December last year and it was in the early stages.

“The Public Protector is not in a position to say with certainty when the matter will be concluded.

“The municipality, as the subject of the investigation, has been informed. Further, its response to the allegations was requested. A response in this regard has been received and is being analysed,” Segalwe said.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that an “inquiry into allegations of corruption against certain individuals” had been opened.

However, Mulaudzi said he was not at liberty to discuss the merits of the case pending the ongoing investigations.

“We will in the right time communicate the outcome of the probe,” he said.

Pro Secure, Mogale City and Makhura’s office had not responded at the time of going to print, even though the questions were sent on Thursday last week.


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March 29 2020