Hartbeespoort resort work implicated in SIU investigation

Work done at the Eagle Waters wildlife resort by the North West Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, forms part of a corruption investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

The SIU was this week granted permission to freeze the R3.4 million pension of the former head of the department, Pakiso Mothupi, pending the institution of an action against him. The SIU is investigating allegations of corruption, malpractice, maladministration and unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public funds and other irregular conduct.

“Ongoing SIU investigations revealed that, while working as the HOD, Mr Mothupi committed the Department into unlawful contracts with private entities. He authorised payments to Ayamah Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd (Ayamah) in circumstances where there were no services rendered to justify the payment, resulting in financial losses of R 166 290 625, 77,” Kaizer Kganyago, SIU spokesperson said.

One of these unlawful contracts was the rehabilitation of flood-damaged road infrastructure and the perimeter fencing at Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort.

Mothupi was suspended from the Department on 26 September 2018 following the allegations of irregularity pertaining to the contract. He was dismissed on 4 June 2021.

The SIU alleges that the department’s service level agreement with Ayamah was riddled with a host of irregularities and was also in breach of the PFMA and National Treasury Instruction 1 of 2013/14. There was no competitive bidding process followed.

The Department failed to consider locally based companies, resulting in set-up costs which are believed to be more than the actual costs.

The SIU claims that Mothupi deliberately went out of his way to violate the law and unlawfully appointed Ayamah.
The SIU has recently clamped down on a number of municipal and government officials for alleged corruption. The SIU said fraud and corruption allegations can be reported via the following platforms: siu@whistleblowing.co.za or the hotline: 0800 037 774.