Limpopo human settlements minister Clifford Motsepe has denied favouring Julius Malema's allies in awarding tenders.
According to SABC news, Motsepe said his department had not tampered with tender documents in favour of companies owned by expelled ANC Youth League president Malema's allies. Tender procedures were followed in awarding contracts to Malema's associates, Motsepe told the broadcaster.
These included associates like Selby Manthata and his wife Helen Moreroa, Ali Boshielo, Matome Hlabioa, Collins Foromo and Mohammed Dada.
"I wrote a letter to the auditor general and the office of the public protector requesting that they must come and launch an investigation based on the allegations of impropriety against the officials in my department," Motsepe reportedly said at a briefing in Polokwane.
"So, there's an investigation underway by both the office of the Auditor General and the Public Protector."
On Friday, the Star reported that the Limpopo human settlements department had awarded multimillion rand housing contracts to companies owned by Malema's allies or benefactors, even though they did not meet requirements or had a history of poor performance.
According to the report, the provincial cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs department ignored its own bid adjudication committee's recommendations, which disqualified 18 of 55 companies when it awarded contracts worth about R900-million.
Departmental spokesperson Dieketseng Diale had defended the department's awarding of the contracts to ineligible firms linked to Malema, the Star reported. "The department implemented what the bid adjudication committee recommended," she said.
Democratic Alliance Limpopo spokesperson Desiree van der Walt had reportedly called on the Special Investigating Unit to investigate irregular housing tenders awarded to Malema's allies.
"It cannot be a mere coincidence that those who won the tenders, despite being disqualified by the bid committee, all have links with Malema, a close ally of Motsepe," she said.
According to the SABC, however, Motsepe had said there was no law prohibiting his department from doing business with companies linked to allies of Malema.
"In this very tender that we have advertised, none of the requirements are saying if you're related to Malema or any other politician in the Republic of South Africa you're barred from tendering," he said.
"So I'm waiting for those laws to come and I'll implement them without any hesitation." – Sapa