The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is looking into allegations of wrongdoing involving a PPE tender worth more than half a million rand awarded by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to a company owned by a family member of one of its councillors, Gamalihleli Maqula.
The company, Kaziforce, which delivered 34,400 masks at a cost of R670,800 to the City, was, until May 2018, owned wholly by councillor Maqula.
It was now owned by his sister Mamella Maqula, she confirmed to News24.
A complaint to the SIU was detailed in a letter written by DA leader Nqaba Bhanga to the SIU in which he requested the unit to investigate the tender.
Asked by News24 about the awarding of the tender, or whether he had any form of influence in its awarding, an emotionally charged Maqula declined to comment, saying he had responded to another media house about the same issue.
Called for comment, Mamella Maqula confirmed that she was the owner of Kaziforce and that she’s the councillor’s sister. She declined to comment further.
“I don’t have a response,” she said to follow-up questions.
In the two-paged letter dated 19 July, Bhanga also raised questions about the prices quoted.
Bhanga told the SIU that Kaziforce delivered four batches of 8 600 FFP1 masks, at a price of R19.50 per masks or R167 700 per batch.
“According to the PPE price list provided by National Treasury as at 28 April 2020, FFP1 surgical masks should be bought at no more than R511 per box of 50, or R10.22 per mask, VAT inclusive.
“Therefore, the maximum price charged for the 34 400 masks delivered by Kaziforce should have been no more than R351 568,” said Bhanga.
“The specific company is wholly owned by one Mamella Maqula, a close family member of sitting NMBMM ANC councillor Gamalihleli Maqula.
“I have established through a CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) search report that councillor Gamalihleli Maqula was previously the sole director of the company, but that he resigned on the 26th of May 2018.
Mamella Maqula was appointed as sole director of the company after that, said Bhanga.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the investigating unit met with Bhanga and discussed the contents of the letter.
“The allegations reported are being investigated by the SIU as part of Covid-19 investigations proclaimed by the president,” said Kganyago.
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