Mngxitama petitions Zikalala and the department over alleged SKG tender corruption

The BLF's Andile Mngxitama. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

The BLF's Andile Mngxitama. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 21, 2024


Members of the Black First Land First (BLF) have petitioned the Minister of Public Works Sihle Zikalala and his Deputy Director-General (DDG), Richard Sizani to look into the tenders awarded to SKG Africa Group, a company believed to be enjoying preferential treatment by the department in the Eastern Cape.

In 2022, Andile Mngxitama accused SKG Africa of corrupt dealings within the tender system at the Department of Public Works.

Two weeks ago, Mngxitama led a team to petition the department over these tenders.

“We are here to day to call on the Minister Sihle Zikalala to stop the capture of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) by Jean du Plessis of SKG Africa. Du Plessis has undue influence over the department and has normalised corruption. We have reasons to believe that some senior management is captured by Du Plessis. They have enabled him to loot the department. It is estimated that he earns over R500 million annually from doing business with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure,” said Mngxitama.

The members say they want the minister to be made aware of what is happening which is why they have approached the department to look into their concerns.

“We want to bring to the attention of the minister what we believe to be systematic corruption by Jean Du Plessis. Du Plessis is the Markus Jooste of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. We also note that the banks which harass our leaders such as president Zuma are enablers of Jean Du Plessis. There are massive allegations against him, however; the banks continue to do business with him,” he said.

Mngxitama and his team said they have been raising the issues with the department for a long time and now have decided to engage the ministry directly saying they want the department to investigate a new tender by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

“We also note that SKG Africa has contracts with the Department which we deem irregular. SKG Africa under the front company called Itacora Investments (PTY) LTD was granted a tender on condition that it will produce a BBBEE certificate. It’s been 17 years and no such certificate has been produced suggesting an unlawful gratification for SKG Africa. The total cost to the department for this irregular tender is over R265 million to date,” he said.

Among the demands being made by the BLF is for the DPWI to investigate and/or suspend all the SKG Africa contracts. That all the contracts and leases associated with Du Plessis be suspended and investigated and for the DPWI recoup all the loses generated by doing business with SKG Africa.

“We give the minister seven working days to respond to our demands. We shall consider legal action against the department should it grant the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) tender to Jean du Plessis. Also we shall employ more robust protest actions including occupation of the department offices. We call for urgent and decisive actions from the minister and the department against Jean du Plessis and his enablers in the DPWI.”

SKG, which is based in East London, is a company that deals with property development information technology, property investment, and property management services.

Attempts to get comment from the DPWI were not successful at the time of going to print.

Previously, The Star reported on these allegations with the DPWI, saying it knows of the contracts but denied the accusations of preferential treatment of SKG Afrika over contracts.

However, responding to The Star through their lawyers on Friday, Sim Attorneys, SKG Africa labelled the accusations against the company as “baseless” and accused this paper of reporting false and defamatory statements.

“All the accusations by the BLF regarding SKG are baseless, false and defamatory. We have previously, in 2022, indicated to the Star that our client, SKG, denies allegations by the BLF and we have at the time enquired from the Star and IOL as to the steps taken to ensure that the principles of accurate, factual and honestly motivated reportage as entrenched in the law and preamble. of the IOL Press code are upheld. We repeat this question as it appears that the Star intends to, yet again, publish on false and defamatory statements made by the BLF against our client,” the lawyers said.

The Star

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