Bosasa contracts: Balfour and Mti must appear before Parliament
I today wrote to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on correctional services, Vincent Smith, to request that former Minister of Correctional Services Ngconde Balfour, and former National Commissioner, Linda Mti, appear before the committee on the matter of contracts awarded by the department to Bosasa and its affiliates between 2004 and 2006.
A copy of that letter follows below.
24 November, 2009
Mr V. Smith MP
Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services
You will recall that at our meeting on 17 November 2009, the Special Investigations Unit reported that substantial maladministration and suspected fraud had occurred in the award of contracts by the Department of Correctional Services to BOSASA and its affiliates between 2004 and 2006. At the meeting, you indicated that the Department would have to report to the Committee about this matter.
In addition to this meeting, I suggested that it would be very important that the former Minister, Ngconde Balfour, and the former National Commissioner, Linda Mti, address the Committee. I say so for the following reasons.
1. The award of these contracts took place during the time that they were Minister and National Commissioner respectively. We need to understand what powers were delegated to which officials at that time, as well as which individuals or bodies approved contracts of these magnitudes;
2. Minister Balfour was insistent that the catering contract be renewed when it expired at the end of 2007. Indeed his insistence that it be renewed, and his firm views about who should adjudicate and award the contract, led to a breakdown in relations between the Minister and the then National Commissioner, Vernie Peterson. The Committee needs to understand why the Minister held these firm views, as they may explain why the contract was awarded in the first place and then renewed.
I am obviously aware that Mr Balfour in now the High Commissioner in Botswana, but it ought to be possible for him to address the Committee given the proximity of his new post to South Africa.
I look forward to hearing from you.
James Selfe MP
Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Correctional Services
Statement issued by the Democratic Alliance, November 24 2009
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