The Daisy Loo corruption case is opening a can of worms into the council’s history of questionable tender awards and administrative sleaze.
It emerged in court this week that the former city council deputy clerk, Molefi Keaja, was kept out of the administrative loop by the City Clerk, Margaret Mabua, and did not know anything about the goings on at the council.
It also emerged that two tenders which were awarded by the city council before the controversial Daisy Loo tender were later withdrawn after the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) intervened because the tenders had been awarded irregularly.
Keaja told the Village Magistrate court about the communication breakdown between him and his boss.
He made the revelations under cross examination by defence lawyer Dick Bayford during a case in which GCC employees amongst them Abby, Frank Stegling, Sonke Sithole, Frank Molaletsi currently with the Ministry of Environment , Wildlife and Tourism and the Managing Director of Daisy Loo Moemedi Dijeng, are facing fraud charges.
His admission came after Bayford had asked him if he does not find it to be awkward that he did not have information on several events that took place in the Council, like the tour of the city which was carried out by the city clerk whilst he was on leave.
Worse that he did not know about the tender of clearance at Segoditshane Valley which he had told the Court he only came to know about when they were invoiced.
Keaja told the Court that the Segoditshane Valley issue was never discussed in the monthly meetings of top GCC managers consisting of different department heads.
Keaja could not tell whether or not the documents of the controversial Segodithshane Valley tender had been falsified.
Answering a question on why the Call Skip and SA Skippers contracts were withdrawn on November, 2003, Keaja said the decision was made because it was realized that there were irregularities in the way the tenders were awarded.
He told the court that the irregularities were confirmed by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime. He said, after the two companies’ contracts were cancelled, GCC was deployed to work on the disputed areas. It was after that that Sithole – who is among those charged with fraud in the Daisy Loo Case – was instructed by the City Clerk to write to companies which had been short listed to find out if their prices were still valid. Thereafter the two companies, among them Daisy Loo, were contracted to carry out the work on the disputed areas.
A day before, Keaja had, under cross examination by Duma Boko representing Molaletsi, admitted in court that he did not know that the Council’s Department of Health and Environment had at the start of the work on project tender no 59\2003 confessed to the City Clerk that they did not have capacity and expertise to handle a project of that magnitude.
Further that after the confession work on the project was all transferred to Jane who is the city engineer as he had a lot of experience. When Jane went away to Canada on leave the project was transferred to Das.
The case continues.