Pretoria – The City of Tshwane’s acting city manager Mmaseabata Mutlaneng has come under fire from the DA, which wants her take the fall for a dodgy Covid-19 catering contract and quit her position.
The tender was irregularly awarded to at least 34 companies without purchase orders to feed the homeless people accommodated at the 24 temporary shelters constructed to curb the spread of coronavirus during the lockdown.
Both the Special Investigating Unit and the Hawks have since instituted a probe into claims of irregularities linked to the multimillion rand contract.
The DA accused Mutlaneng of having flouted tender precripts, saying the buck stopped with her as the accounting officer.
Calls for her sacking were made after it emerged last week that the City didn’t issue purchase orders to catering companies in line with the supply chain management norms.
The DA’s mayoral candidate Randall Williams pointed fingers at Mutlaneng, saying she failed to take the appropriate action that her job required.
“She should therefore be urgently removed from her post. This is a total governance failure,” Willaims said.
He expressed shock at the news that that service provider recently submitted invoices worth nearly R20 million for serving the homeless.
Willaims accused the administrators in Tshwane of having “haphazardly used multiple service providers during the lockdown, effectively abandoning legislative supply chain processes which require formal procurement reports”.
He also took aim at the head administrator, Mpho Nawa, saying he should have full oversight over the procurement processes.
The head of supply chain management has been suspended for tender irregularity, but the DA said the move was Nawa’s attempt to shirk responsibilities.
Williams said:”As due process was not followed in their appointments, all of the funds that these service providers may receive will be deemed as irregular in audit findings, which will be made against the ANC administrators.”
The city and service providers have been embroiled in disputes over payments of catering service with the former questioning the exorbitant financial claims on invoices.
The city has also alleged that service providers colluded with officials to obtain catering contracts, but was dismissed by the contractors.
Last week, Mutlaneng said the city was in the process of validating information submitted by contractors, adding that eight whose portion of information can be validated can expect payments.
She said officials requested them to provide services without going through a proper supply chain management process to obtain a purchase order reflecting the type of service expected of them and its cost.
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