Tuesday, September 22, 2020

BPC sacks suspected whistleblower

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has dismissed a supply chain manager, Boitshepo Puleng, from work following the decision of the board to let him go.

A source says Puleng was pushed out because he was believed to be leaking information relating to alleged corruption at the BPC and is also being accused of having played a role in having the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime investigate the BPC.

The insider said Puleng was against tenders which were given to the same companies most of the time. The source further said former Acting CEO Cross Kgosidiile was once declared a director in one of the companies which was also winning tenders at BPC.

The source further said there is a company known as Dibanisa (Pty) Ltd believed to be fronting for some top officials at BPC especially former acting CEO and his associates, Cross Kgosidiile

A letter dated 18 May 2020 signed by Puleng shows that a tender no.3890/19, which was for the supply and delivery of single (1) phase and three(3) phase split,3 phase integrated GPS based STS prepayment smart meters with open standard communications, was nullified.

The insider said Puleng was against the nullification of the tender and tried to refuse to write letters to the affected companies because he felt it was pure corruption to do selective tendering to favour South African companies against locals.

His downfall was long planned by people in influential positions and the same people are said to be associated with the former CEO Kgosidiile.

Puleng was also pushed out because they believe he was against a company known as Dibanisa (Pty) Ltd which has won 10 tenders worth close to 200 million Pula from November 2019 to March 2020.

The owner of the company Kabelo Molefe confirmed winning those tenders but said he has followed procedure.

Sunday Standard is in possession of a document titled: Enquiry into BPC Tenders which forms part of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime investigations into alleged corruption at the BPC.

The author of the documents (known to this publication) is also part of a group of people trying to expose corruption at the BPC.

The documents show a number of tenders which were won by the same companies with some being awarded under dubious circumstances.

“We have noted that the previous Acting CEO had selected few people in influential positions to have total control of BPC tenders,” said an insider.

Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime Lentswe Motshoganetsi has confirmed the ongoing investigation at BPC.

Sunday Standard investigations show that a tender which was recommended by the technical Board to be awarded to Drift In, Abiasa Investments, SK Agencies and Arm Roy Investments has caused the DCEC to investigate the BPC.

When asked about the alleged corruption in the awarding of tenders to the same companies, the BPC spokesperson Dineo Seleke said they are not in a position to explain tender evaluations in a public domain.

“We regret to advise that the Corporation is not in a position to divulge information on tender evaluation and adjudication in a public domain. Complaints/Concerns in respect of the Corporation’s tenders should be logged with BPC in accordance with the Corporation’s Tender Regulations,” said Seleke.

Responding to Sunday Standard inquiries, former BPC CEO Cross Kgosidiile denied all the corruption allegations being leveled against him. “I don’t know what informs and motivates those allegations but they are totally untrue. During my entire stay at BPC I had no interest of mine other than those of the employer,” he said.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.