The auditor-general has agreed to investigate the awarding of a deal reportedly worth as much as R140m for development of an integrated Free State government website, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.
“The DA has received confirmation from the auditor-general that Free State premier Ace Magashule’s R140m website will be investigated,” the party’s Free State leader, Patricia Kopane, said.
The DA requested an investigation by the auditor-general “after it emerged that the website price was significantly inflated, with indications that there may have been serious irregularities in the awarding of the tender”, Kopane said.
According to the DA, the auditor-general said the website would be included in an investigation of a sample of contracts awarded by Magashule’s office.
The findings are due to be reported through the regular audit process and will be included in the auditor-general’s report on the premier’s financial statements.
The website contract was awarded to a consortium consisting of Cherry Online Design, Ikamva ICT and Jugganaut. Cherry Online, the company credited on the integrated Free State government website with its development, is controlled by Bloemfontein businessman Tumi Ntsele, who is also the executive chairman of the Letlaka Group, a media holding company that publishes a pro-government newspaper called The Weekly.
“Massive amounts of public money cannot be used to enrich premier Magashule’s allies in business while service delivery projects in the Free State continue to suffer,” said Kopane. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media