Zondo Commission to probe alleged dodgy Bosasa deal

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture confirmed it will probe allegations that a R10m security deal was irregularly awarded to a subsidiary of the "corrupt" Bosasa group.

In a statement issued on Monday in response to News24's revelation of details of the deal on Sunday, the commission vowed to inform the public of the outcome of its own probe "after the chairperson has been furnished with all relevant information".

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was appointed to head the commission, which is looking into corruption at all levels of government, particularly termed state capture.

News24 revealed over the weekend that Global Technology Systems (GTS), formerly known as Sondolo IT, had been handed a security contract worth R10m without following a tender process.

READ: Is Zondo commission tainted?

The commission has described the publication of the article without it having completed its own inquiry into the matter first as "regrettable".

The deal is for the installation of security measures, including an X-ray bag scanner, CCTV and access control measures, at the Zondo Commission's premises – Hillside House in Parktown, Johannesburg.

GTS is a subsidiary of African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.

Minutes of a meeting between various suppliers to the commission, dated July 5, 2018, revealed that GTS was seemingly "nominated" for the job.

Neither GTS nor the commission responded to queries about how it landed the deal, News24 reported.

Multimillion-rand tenders

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report, which was handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2009, found that Bosasa officials had paid bribes to former prisons boss Linda Mti and Department of Correctional Services chief financial officer Patrick Gillingham to secure multimillion-rand tenders from the department.

City Press revealed details of this report in 2011.

Sondolo IT (now Global Technology Systems), Bosasa Operations and Phezulu Fencing (another Bosasa subsidiary) were awarded tenders of more than R2bn to operate kitchens, install access control systems and fences at prisons around the country.

These deals formed part of the SIU investigation.

In November last year, NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku confirmed that a team of prosecutors were still working on the matter and had yet to make a decision on whether or not to charge the Bosasa officials.

One of the directors of GTS is politically-connected Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

When News24 journalists sent questions regarding the deal to the commission on Thursday, a request was made by commission secretary Dr Khotso de Wee for more evidence to be made available at Zondo's request.

News24 editor Adriaan Basson said he would co-operate with the commission's request to provide Judge Zondo with the necessary background information of Bosasa's chequered past.

"Although we find it surprising that the commission claims not to have been aware of the serious allegations of corruption levelled against Bosasa and its affiliate companies, we will assist Judge Zondo in getting to the bottom of this matter," Basson said.

"It is outrageous that a commission into state capture would appoint a company accused of grand state corruption to guard its safety and secrets. There was an overwhelming public interest to get this story out," he added.

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