Tribunal stops Eastern Cape health department’s R10m scooter contract

The Eastern Cape health department may not further implement the R10m contract for modified motorbikes to transport patients in rural areas.
Image: Eastern Cape MEC of Health via Facebook

The Special Tribunal on Friday granted an order interdicting the Eastern Cape health department from further implementing the controversial R10m mobile clinic scooter contract.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) sought the order after allegations that the department purportedly expedited the contract for the procurement of 100 mobile clinic scooters from Fabkomp (Pty) Ltd in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SIU contends the awarding of the contract was done in contravention of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury regulations. It was seeking an interdict to stop any payment for the contract.

Appearing before the tribunal on Friday, advocate for the SIU Monare Makoti said the application for an interdict was unopposed by the department and Fabkomp.

Tribunal judge Lebogang Modiba granted the order sought by the SIU.

The Special Tribunal said on Thursday it had summoned Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, superintendent general Dr Thobile Mbengashe, the department’s CFO Msulwa Daca and Fabkomp to appear before the tribunal.

However, on Friday Mbengashe said he, the MEC and Daca were not invited by the tribunal and they were not subpoenaed to appear.

Mbengashe said the department received papers from the SIU indicating it would be asking for an order interdicting the department from proceeding with the procurement of the motorbikes.

“We consulted our legal teams and confirmed to the SIU that we will not be opposing their interdict,” Mbengashe told SABC television news on Friday.

Mbengashe said the department had done what was required in the procurement process and had followed the rules.

He said it would be inappropriate to argue the matter while it was before the tribunal.

The SIU said the department had agreed to an order restraining it from making a payment of R10.1m regarding the scooter tender.

The SIU said would ensure that everything was done to protect the resources of the state from misuse.

“In this case we have successfully stopped the payment before it was paid to the contractor,” the SIU said.


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