Giyani water project scandal: Limpopo water parastatal heading for showdown with SIU

Lepelle Northern Water (LNW) in Limpopo is heading for a showdown with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over a raid regarding the R3bn Giyani water project scandal.

LNW, a parastatal mandated with bulk water supply to most parts of the province, voiced displeasure about the SIU raid at its offices in Polokwane last week. A special board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

Speaking to News24 on Monday, LNW chief executive officer Phineas Legodi said the SIU raid was a surprise as investigation into the matter was supposed to have been completed in March last year. The investigation was proclaimed by then president Jacob Zuma in 2016.

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He said the entity would demand to know from the SIU whether it had launched a new investigation into the as all documents pertaining to the matter were handed over then.

"On the 17 July 2017, I personally appeared before the SIU in Pretoria, subjected to sworn interview where I detailed the nature and extent of our participation in this Giyani water and sanitation project. I delivered the documents on the 11 September 2017.

"On the 09 February 2018, SIU informed the board that the investigation will be done or completed by end of March 2018," Legodi said.

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However, SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago has since indicated that the raid was necessitated by the reluctance of LNW to hand over certain documents.

"We've been asking for certain information and we've been having problems in getting that information. We then approached the court for a search and seizure order," Kganyago said.

But during the interview, Legodi insisted that the documents seized by the SIU last week were the same as those submitted in the past.

When asked if the SIU was being dishonest, Legodi said: "It is not true that we ever denied them access to documents. This is the reason we are inviting the head of the SIU to a meeting. 

"Whenever they took the documents, they signed. We have those records," Legodi said.