ANC caucus in Port Alfred urged not to appeal judgment on ‘unlawful’ tender

The ANC regional executive committee in the Sarah Baartman District has advised the Ndlambe municipal council not to appeal the High Court judgment that found the awarding of a desalination tender unlawful
LEAVE IT BE: The ANC regional executive committee in the Sarah Baartman District has advised the Ndlambe municipal council not to appeal the High Court judgment that found the awarding of a desalination tender unlawful
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The ANC regional executive committee (REC) in the Sarah Baartman District has advised the Ndlambe municipal council not to appeal the High Court judgment that found the awarding of a desalination tender unlawful.

Last week, the Makhanda High Court set aside a seawater reverse osmosis tender, awarded to Quality Filtration Systems (QFS), and declared it unlawful.

The contract would have cost the municipality more than R100m.

In a statement released on Monday, Sarah Baartman regional chair Scara Njadayi said the REC had been briefed by the ANC caucus in Ndlambe, had weighed the substantive reasons for the emergency procurement for installation of the plant and further studied contents of the judgment.

“It considered the balance of probabilities; however, in the centre of its discussions it placed the people of Port Alfred and Bathurst who are in dire need of water, and are a target to benefit in the economic spin-off that come with this development,” he said.

Njadayi said the REC had directed the ANC caucus to take the matter to council and persuade council members not to appeal the judgment.

“There’s no guarantee that the municipality will secure the money again and the appeal processes might take too long.

“Councillors must put people in the centre of their decisions.”

Njadayi said due supply chain processes had to start afresh.

He recommended that the municipality seek advice from the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, as well as the provincial Treasury, on processes that should be followed with regard to emergency procurement.

Earlier on Monday, Ndlambe municipality DA councillors Sikhumbuzo Venene and Khanyisa Daweti opened a case against municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni.

The councillors said the case was opened in terms of Section 171 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), which made certain acts and omissions a criminal offence.

The joint statement said: “The judgment further fingered Dumezweni as the key official responsible for amending and awarding the tender.

“It also highlighted the irregular (and frankly illegal) prepayment or R20m to QFS before a contract had been signed.

“Only Dumezweni would have been in a position to authorise this.”

Venene and Daweti said they would submit a motion to council calling for Dumezweni’s immediate suspension and a full investigation.

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