SIU withdraws application to freeze accounts of companies awarded Beitbridge border fence tender

SABC News Beitbridge 1 - SIU withdraws application to freeze accounts of companies awarded Beitbridge border fence tender

The Special Investigative Unit (SIU) has withdrawn its application to freeze the accounts of the two companies awarded the tender to erect a fence at the Beitbridge border post.

The SIU will now approach the Special Tribunal within 20 days to put in a new application. They want to prove that the deal between the two companies and the Department of Public Works was riddled with impropriety.

Over R21.8 million was paid in advance by the department to Caledon River Properties (Pty) Ltd and Profteam CC for the 40km fence, which separates South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The SIU had wanted to freeze the advance payment and interdict further payments.

However, spokesperson Selby Makgotho says they will now pursue civil recovery proceedings.

“The first and the second respondents shall not make any claims and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure shall not make any payments towards the contract. The first and second respondents have undertaken to pay any amount the Special Tribunal might grant against them, from where we stand in the next 20 days civil recovery proceedings will be instituted with the Special Tribunal.”

Special Tribunal hearing Beitbridge Border Post Fence case:

Accountability 

Earlier in October, Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille told a Special Tribunal that she had taken all the necessary steps to ensure accountability; including her invitation to the Auditor-General and the SIU to probe the matter.

“If I could start with Advocates Sam Vukela, the Director-General; I have written a letter to the President with the Beitbridge report. And as we all know, the decision or the consideration lies with the President, how the President wants to proceed on that. We’ve written to the state attorney to appoint a chairperson and an initiator. We’ve also submitted a report to the state attorney so that the chairperson that will be appointed and the initiator, they will be formulating the charges. So, that is work in progress,” De Lille said.

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