IOL News

September 22, 2011

By  MURRAY WILLIAMS |and MICHELLE PIETERSEN

The Western Cape government has been advised to take disciplinary action against 23 of its employees in connection with tenders awarded to two city communications companies during former premier Ebrahim Rasool’s tenure.

Provincial government communications contracts came under the spotlight when it emerged after Helen Zille took over as premier in 2009 that R80 million had been paid to three companies over four years.

Since the DA took over the provincial government numerous investigations have been conducted into a variety of contracts with several public relations and events companies.

The investigation into the media contracts revealed that Cape Argus journalist Ashley Smith had been paid to write stories favourable to Rasool, creating the so-called “brown envelope” scandal.

Smith in turn alleged that one of his colleagues had also received money.

Rasool and his ANC colleagues have all denied any irregularities in the awarding of the contracts, and that illegal payments were made to journalists.

Last year the provincial government handed a forensic report to the Hawks and its own Forensic Investigations Unit (FIU) continued to probe the contracts.

Provincial communications spokesman Nick Clelland-Stokes said the FIU had examined “the processes that were followed when awarding and managing tenders”.

“Disciplinary action has been recommended by the FIU against those 23 officials… and these findings have been sent to labour and the relevant HODs (heads of department).” Read more.