North West whistle-blower loses contract

2015-12-15 11:30

The Ditsobotla Local Municipality in North West has terminated the debt-collection contract of Gauteng businessman and corruption whistle-blower Fikile Bili.

Newly appointed municipal administrator Monde Juta said Bili’s R56 million contract was invalid because it had been “awarded irregularly”.

The municipality had a debt book of R280 million from unpaid rates and taxes, all of which had in August been awarded to Bili to collect at 20% commission.

However, Bili said he was targeted because he exposed a group of ANC councillors who allegedly solicited a R250 000 bribe from him to sustain his contract.

A meeting at the Lichtenburg Golf Club in August, which Bili recorded and subsequently opened a criminal case about, is the subject of a hearing tomorrow in the North West High Court in Mmabatho.

Juta, seconded to the municipality by the provincial government, said on Friday the debt-collection tender was not awarded procedurally.

“The tender was not advertised. The service provider just did a presentation and thereafter they were given an appointment letter,” said Juta.

He said there were “thousands” of other service providers who would have wanted the opportunity to bid for the contract. He also said the 20% commission fee Bili charged was way above the market-related 12% commission.

Juta said that council on Friday decided “unanimously” to can the contract. “The fact of the matter is that he was appointed irregularly. Administratively, the decision was flawed.”

The municipality’s chief financial officer, Leeto Dintwe, who Bili also said asked for a R150 000 bribe, was suspended last month.

Bili said that the ANC councillors believed he was scuppering their political futures by going to the media with the allegations, and that he was responsible for Dintwe’s suspension.

He also said Juta was incorrect about the “market-related” 12% commission because there were no formal regulations in place.

March 29 2020