The Special Court established to investigate and prosecute cases related to corruption in the multi-million dollar acquisition of Covid-19 personal protective equipment by the state must hear the request for review, SIU (Special Investigation Unit) against Pro-Serve Consulting (Pty .) Ltd and Thenga Holdings (Pty) Ltd (GP20 / 2021), on Tuesday (Nov 16).
The matter relates to the alleged R 50 million tender irregularities in respect of renovations and improvements at the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital (AGA) in Carletonville, Gauteng.
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With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gauteng Department of Health (GDH) and the Department of Infrastructure Development (ID) appointed a contractor to restore the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital.
The facilities were to be renovated and equipped with between 200 and 250 beds. The radiology unit required major renovations, including new equipment for the operating room unit. The total cost was 50 million rand.
The GDH and ID appointed and paid Pro-Serve Consulting for the services, which according to the SIU were “provided in terms of the disputed transactions”. It is alleged that Thenga Holdings received an amount of R40.8 million in connection with its construction and related works carried out at the AGA Hospital.
The GDH and the ID appointed Pro-Serve and Thenga as the “implementing agent” for the provincial health department.
The documents allege that “Pro-Serve was appointed to provide consulting services and professional clinical services for architect, mechanical and electrical engineering, civil and structural engineering, health and safety,” while Thenga Holdings “would provide general construction work.”
It is alleged that Pro-Serve entered into the service level agreement (SLA) with the Infrastructure Development Department on April 13 and 21, 2020. The SLA was concluded on an “emergency basis”.
Thenga’s access certificate claimed that the project’s completion date was May 30, 2020, a date that was extended by the Infrastructure Development Department until June 30, 2020.
As of June 18, remodeling costs were estimated at about R588 million, more than 10 times the original estimate.
The SIU alleged that:
- The acquisition process was flawed, illegal, and invalid;
- The Treasury Regulations and Instructions Notes were not taken into account;
- The scope of the work was not taken into account;
- The hiring rules were violated;
- Thenga Holdings’ appointment was made by a panel whose legal mandate had expired; and
- No explanation was given for the increase in remodeling costs from an estimated R50 million to an estimated R588 504 235.43 as of June 18, 2020.
The SIU obtained a provisional conservation order intercepting Pro-Serve and Thenga and freezing quantities of R1 706 301.60 and R6 234 365.26 respectively on September 17, 2021.
Both Pro-Serve and Thenga oppose the request for review.