An explosive forensic investigation into tender fraud in the office of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has revealed how a personal assistant and an administrative clerk dished out tenders worth almost R23-million to five companies with the knowledge of their superiors.
Willies Mchunu is the current and 7th Premier of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in May 2016.
He was previously the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for the Department of Transport, Community Safety, and Liaison in the province.
He is a member of the African National Congress and the former chairperson of the South African Communist Party(SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal and is a member of the Central Committee of the SACP.
He is seen as a close ally of South African President Jacob Zuma.
The report‚ dated March 18‚ 2017 and which has been submitted to Mchunu‚ shows that between 2012 and 2016 the personal assistant and the clerk processed most of the transactions where suppliers were awarded tenders. They did so with the knowledge of the chief financial officer in the office of the premier.
The report is highly critical of the chief financial officer’s role in the irregular transactions which‚ it says‚ makes him liable to be charged with financial misconduct.
The investigation emanated from an anonymous letter requesting a full investigation into the conduct of the supply chain management and asset management leadership in the premier’s office.
The whistleblower said there was no segregation of duties and the personal assistant to the supply chain manager was doing all the work supposed to be done by the supply chain practitioners.
“The non-implementation of segregation of duties is not as a result of the SCM unit being short staffed‚ but rather a deliberate manipulation of SCM processes with the intention of committing fraud‚” wrote the whistleblower.
The whistleblower also complained about non-rotation of service providers‚ saying a single supplier was used in all of the last financial year’s events; repetitive use of one service provider and a high-level of cover quoting.
The investigation found that the personal assistant and an administrative clerk consistently disregarded the segregation of duties required in the procurement of goods in that they carried out the nomination‚ invitation and evaluation of quotations of transactions under review.
Mchunu’s spokesman Ndabezinhle Sibiya said an official statement would be released soon as this was an urgent matter.