Corrupt tender costs Post Office R60m

The South African Post Office has been ordered to pay R60-million in damages due to contamination of a tender, according to Business Report on Friday.

Judge Willie Hartzenberg found the Post Office had confirmed a corrupt tender in 2002 despite the fact that senior managers, including Maanda Manyatshe, the chief executive at the time, had been made aware of flaws in the process.

The judge said dishonesty, corruption and fraud had plagued the bungled Post Office tender for a biometric pensions payment system for North West province.

Hartzenberg said the tender process had been “greatly influenced by corrupt and dishonest conduct and fraud” committed by Andrew Topper, an employee of the state-owned postal service.

Topper was subsequently dismissed after a disciplinary hearing into allegations of improper conduct, Business Report said.

The chairperson of the Post Office tender board had resigned, Hartzenberg said, and other relevant employees “left under a cloud”.

The tender was awarded to the Kumo consortium. Its prime contractor was Labat, the listed technology firm headed by former SA Rugby chief executive Brian van Rooyen.

However, Labat was not included as a member of Kumo in its original submissions.

This should have resulted in the consortium’s disqualification because of a non-permissible change of composition during the tender process.—Sapa

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