Defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu is to act on allegations of wrongful conduct against the head of the Department of Defence’s Supply Chain Integration Division, Mthobisi Zondi, as soon as she has received a report on an investigation into the claims from the Inspector General, her spokesman, Ndivhuwo Mabaya says.
Independent Newspapers last year reported links between Zondi ad companies that won a R142 million asset management and stock verification contract as well as a R108 million deal to clear explosive remnants from two former defence force training areas.
Meanwhile, some Members of Parliament are calling for urgent feedback on the matter. Committee on Public Accounts whip for the ruling Afican National Congress, Mandla Mbili, told the newspaper group the department and Sisulu should return to the committee urgently with answers.
Democratic Alliance deputy defence spokesman James Lorimer made the same call for the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans,saying “senior defence officials are dragging their feet over making public documents that would shed light on [the] highly questionable tender…”
He adds the tenders are just some “of a number of suspicious contracts awarded by this department. The Portfolio Committee agreed to my request in November to ask Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to launch a probe into all military procurement that does not fall under Armscor. The minister has yet to answer that request.”
However, Mabaya, in a statement issued on behalf of Sisulu after Wednesday’s COPA meeting where Acting Secretary of Defence Tsepe Motumi received a severe drubbing from Mbili and defence portfolio chairman Mnyamezeli Booi, Sisulu said auditing firm KPMG was probing procurement, among other aspects, as part of her “turnaround strategy” for the DoD, announced in May last year.