Answers wanted on FYL-linked tenders
Johannesburg - The University of Limpopo must explain why two men linked to the Friends of the Youth League (FYL) allegedly benefited from big contracts, the IFP Youth Brigade said on Friday.
"How is it possible that an institute of higher learning can be involved in such corrupt, nepotistic practices?" chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa asked in a statement.
"The University of Limpopo must fully disclose the tender process it followed and the criteria it used in awarding these tenders."
The Mail & Guardian reported that the university had confirmed that it awarded a R27.8m tender in July last year for the conversion of a gymnasium into a laboratory to Collins Foromo.
Foromo was once a driver for expelled African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema.
FYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu has rejected the allegation as a "cheap and lousy claim".
Hlengwa called for the university council's probe into the matter to investigate thoroughly and quickly.
"Our universities must not become pawns in the political arena, serving the self-interest of a few and in the process, sacrificing their political stance in exchange for partisanship."
Questions have been raised about who funds the FYL, an organisation which was formed after Malema was expelled.
The M&G reported that Foromo said he was invited to all FYL rallies, but he denied contributing to the organisation.
The university also awarded Mandla Seopela, one of the founders of the FYL, a three-year lease for dining facilities on campus.
Seopela has been quoted as a spokesperson for the FYL, and works as a speech-writer for Limpopo premier and Malema ally Cassel Mathale, according to the report.
The M&G alleged that the FYL was using the university to fund its activities.
Shivambu denied this.
"This cheap and lousy claim is made because of comrade Mandla Seopela's open and unashamed association with struggles of economic freedom fighters, which he said on various occasions is due to the fact that the leadership of the ANC Youth League... was treated unfairly and should be supported."
Foromo and Seopela "have a right to be economically active and involve themselves in legitimate economic activities", Shivambu said.
He called on the M&G to provide proof that university money was being used to fund FYL programmes.