Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Justice Tafa blasts Ministry over multi million tender

Lobatse High Court judge Abednico Tafa blasted the Ministry of Lands and Housing for cancelling and re-advertising a multi million tender that Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) had awarded to Zac Construction for the construction of infrastructure development at Metsimotlhabe Block 4.  Justice Tafa ordered that the tender be awarded to Zac Construction.

Justice Tafa said he found it wrong that the award to Zac construction could have been cancelled and re-advertised after the Ministry of Lands and Housing engineers had collectively after consultation with consulting engineers considered Zac Construction to be compliant in all respects.

Further that, “ I am of the opinion that PPADB by consulting one engineer who then went against the decision of the majority at the exclusion of others was going beyond its mandate and was therefore guilty of gross irregularity and acted arbitrarily and that its acts were akin to looking for┬á ghosts and shadows”.

He said the decision by the Ministry stands to be reviewed and set aside. On the way forward, justice Tafa said, the Court had two options of either sending the matter back to the Public Procurement and Assert Disposal Board with directives that adjudication should continue or for the Court to make the decision itself.

On this matter he said the second option was the most accurate because Zac Construction has all along been the company that was considered compliant as the rest had long before been eliminated and the result a forgone conclusion and further there was nothing more that PPADB was yet to adjudicate on”.

Justice Tafa said referring the matter back to PPADB for adjudication would cause unnecessary delay in implementation of the project of national interest as well as unnecessary escalation of costs. Justice Tafa did not make any findings on the company’s lawyer’s submission that PPADB has all along exhibited bias against their client. Zac Construction was represented by Lore Morapedi. Zac Construction Managing Director Nicolas Zakhem declined to comment.


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