Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema accused public protector Thuli Madonsela of finding him "guilty in absentia" on Wednesday.
"You can't find a man guilty in absentia," Malema said at Slovo Park informal settlement, west of Johannesburg, according to a SABC report. "You cannot say to a man in absentia: 'You are guilty and therefore we are going to take everything you have and let you walk naked'."
He was speaking after Madonsela's announcement that tenders awarded to On-Point Engineering by the Limpopo transport department were unlawful.
- Read the full public protector's report here.
She found that On-Point and Malema improperly benefited from the contract. Malema's business partner Lesiba Gwangwa is the chief executive of On-Point.
Malema said: "Those who respect the law, they must treat all of us equally".
Earlier, the Democratic Alliance welcomed Madonsela's report. "The South African public is sick and tired of politically connected individuals abusing public procurement to line their own pockets," Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.
"The charges laid against Malema and his Limpopo cronies last month are a step in the right direction. The courts must consider the findings of the public protector's report."
She said it was clear that there had been serious abuses of public money, and that those responsible should be held accountable.
Madonsela announced her findings in Pretoria on Wednesday. She presented her findings in a report on corrupt practices in Limpopo entitled: "On the Point of Tenders". She found the department did not follow proper guidelines in awarding the tender. She received three complaints in July 2011, including one by the DA, and decided to investigate the allegations that the department of roads and transport corruptly awarded the On-Point tender.
Also under scrutiny were claims that Malema used his political position to influence the awarding of tenders by the department and the Limpopo government in general.
She also investigated whether Malema's Ratanang Family Trust and/or Malema improperly benefited from the tender awarded to On-Point. The total amount paid by the department to On-Point in terms of the contract at the end of June 2012 was R43 868 900.
The bid presented by On-Point in respect of the project management unit (PMU) tender deliberately and fraudulently misrepresented the profile, composition, experience and therefore the functionality of the company.
It was claimed that On-Point was an established and experienced operation with management teams and professional staff that complied with the requirements of the request for proposal.
However, at the time of the bid, the company had existed for only a month, and had no employees, or several of the purported key management and staff. "The shareholders of On-Point, including the Ratanang Family Trust, benefited improperly from the tender that was awarded to On-Point," Madonsela said.
She said the state attorney should institute legal proceedings against On-Point and shareholders who benefited from the PMU tender, to recover money to which the department was entitled. – Sapa