IOL News

By Piet Rampedi

January 29, 2012

The Limpopo education department, which accounted for nearly half of the province’s R2 billion cash-flow crisis, awarded R1.2bn school infrastructure contracts irregularly and fraudulently.

The bulk of the tenders were awarded to associates of Premier Cassel Mathale and ANC youth leader Julius Malema, including Rivoni Properties owner Thulani Nkuna.

The department is led by MEC Dickson Masemola, the provincial ANC deputy chairman, who is a close ally of Mathale and Malema.

Nkuna, a Tzaneen-based businessman, was among a Limpopo government delegation, led by Mathale, that visited Italy on a trade and investment mission last year.

The selected contractors were given the lucrative contracts in exchange for donating piles of cash towards the construction of the Limpopo ANC’s luxury headquarters, according to provincial government, ANC and business sources.

Three independent sources said the contractors were told by senior provincial ANC leaders to help finance the R40 million Frans Mohlala House, funded by unnamed businessmen and officially opened by ANC president Jacob Zuma last January.

The Sunday Independent can today reveal that Tumisho Makofane, the education department’s former general manager for school infrastructure, has resigned amid allegations that he played a central role in manipulating contracts for the benefit of businessmen linked to Mathale and Malema.

Makofane confirmed his resignation on Friday, but denied it was linked to the school infrastructure contracts. He also denied he was joining Aurecon, one of the companies which benefited from the multi-million rand contracts awarded under his watch.

“There is no such thing. I am not responsible for the awarding of tenders. You can come see the documents I have so you can see what the situation is,” said Makofane…Read more.