Juju’s cousin lands multimillion-rand govt deals

An investigation has been launched into two contracts worth an estimated of R60-million awarded by the Limpopo health department to Tshepo Malema, cousin of African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema.

The contracts, which the health department says may have been irregularly awarded in April, are for supplies to Limpopo hospitals.

According to the department, one of the contracts is to provide stickers for medicine bottles, and the other to provide transfer forms that hospitals use to issue a transfer note for patients being referred to other hospitals.

According to insiders in the Limpopo government, one contract amounts to R29-million, while the other is for more than R30-million. These figures could not be independently verified.

Departmental spokesperson Joe Maila told the Mail & Guardian that an internal investigation into the awarding of these contracts is being conducted.

“We suspect somebody is manipulating the process and that there is a problem at our medical depot relating to this,” he said.

He confirmed the existence of the contracts.

“There are such contracts, but we can’t divulge details; it may influence the investigation.”

He added that the contracts were awarded in April, but suspicion was raised and the department started to investigate in May. He could not say when the investigation would be concluded.

Two Limpopo insiders told the M&G money from the contracts was to be used to fund Julius Malema’s campaign for a second term as ANCYL president, but this could not be independently confirmed.

‘I didn’t even know about the investigation’
Tshepo Malema admitted he has contracts with the Limpopo health department, but would not divulge details.

“Yes, I have contracts. I am a young growing businessman and part of my work is not to respond to newspapers.”

He added: “I didn’t even know about the investigation. Anyway, I have not received any payment from them. Maybe you can ask them about that.”

The insiders allege that the premier’s office issued an order for the contracts to go ahead. Premier Cassel Mathale’s office, however, denied his involvement.

“The premier is not responsible for the awarding of contracts in government. Supply chain management issues are governed by the Supply Chain Management Framework Act,” spokesperson Phuti Mosomane said. “All departments are guided by this legislation when they deal with procurement matters and the premier does not play any role in this process.”

Rushed through
Insiders say these contracts were rushed through by the provincial government, without following the normal procedure of advertising a tender and waiting for bids from companies.

“They got three quotations for each contract, but the companies were all owned by the same people. So they chose one and the money was released very quickly,” said one insider, who is a local businessman.

The provincial minister for health in Limpopo, Miriam Segabutla, was replaced earlier this year after various news reports showed irregularities in the awarding of tenders in the department. Her replacement is Dikeledi Magadzi, who has, together with the head of the department, ordered the investigation.

  • The original version of this article stated that Tshepo Malema is Julius Malema’s younger brother. He is, in fact, Julius Malema’s cousin.
  • Subscribe to the M&G

    These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

    The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

    Mandy Rossouw
    Guest Author

    Related stories

    Big retailers need to step up to the plate

    To stave off a multi-generational malnutrition crisis, the food industry must work with government to provide highly nutritious foods at cost during the pandemic

    Crime stats mark a bitter start to Women’s Month

    We must celebrate women’s achievements this month while agitating for structural change, argues Luke Waltham

    South Africa prioritises fossil fuels over clean energy in post-Covid-19 recovery packages

    The country is among the G20 countries who have invested in electricity produced from coal, oil and gas at the cost of addressing climate change

    Challenges and opportunities for telemedicine in Africa

    Telemedicine in Africa is currently limited by the availability of basic infrastructure, but, considering the lack of doctors in rural areas, it is a vital component in addressing the continent’s healthcare needs

    Fight the disease of corruption in the same way we fight the coronavirus

    Gogo Dlamini, Themba Dlamini’s mother, died of Covid-19, but Mzanzi has a chance to rid the country of fraud and exploitation and instead serve ‘Gogo Dlamini’, the people of South Africa

    This time it’s different: African economies may not survive

    Amid the headwinds created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time the Aloe ferox, which survives in dry, harsh conditions, is nurtured — but the options are limited

    The PPE scandal that the Treasury hasn’t touched

    Many government officials have been talking tough about dealing with rampant corruption in PPE procurement but the majority won't even release names of who has benefited from the R10-billion spend

    ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing...

    The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members

    press releases

    Loading latest Press Releases…

    The best local and international journalism

    handpicked and in your inbox every weekday