DD Mabuza’s friend threatens to take Mpumalanga tender squabbles to court

DD Mabuza's friend threatens to take Mpumalanga tender squabbles to court
GRAVY TRAIN: Squabbles over school feeding schemes and security tenders are now in court after a close Mabuza ally accused EFF leader Collen Sedibe of collecting dirt on government officials only to use it to influence the awarding of tenders in favour of his friends. ILLUSTRATIVE GRAPHIC BY 013NEWS/Lowvelder/GCIS

The information is contained in a widely circulated email.

A businessman friend of deputy president David Mabuza whose back is against the wall since Mabuza left the province has fired a salvo with threats to sue EFF Mpumalanga leader Collen Sedibe.

The businessman, Mathatha Mashile stands accused of being awarded questionable tenders at two Mpumalanga departments for a decade and of frequently failing to pay his security guards guarding government assets as well as failing to deliver food for the children he was contracted to feed at schools in the province

He has threatened to reveal how Sedibe, while leader of the opposition in the Mpumalanga legislature, allegedly influences the appointment of tenderpreneurs within the Mpumalanga government departments.

ALSO SEE: El Gondor owner scores R44-million in inflated tender

Mashile is a rich tenderpreneur from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, whose company in 2016 was reported as being one of those that had been continuously flouting tender processes causing the Mpumalanga government a loss of R4-billion in irregular expenditure.

In some instances Mashile would allegedly invoice R30-million in one month, government insiders have told the 013NEWS reporter.

The sources said they know Mashile as someone who doesn’t like taking photos and is not on any social media platform despite being in his 40s.

Most of Mashile’s work had mainly been with the provincial department of education where he used various companies to tender for lucrative school feeding schemes and also the department of safety and security where he received security work under Mabuza’s alleged command, and without those bids having to be advertised.

DD Mabuza's friend threatens to take Mpumalanga tender squabbles to court
EFF leader Collen Sedibe claims Mathatha Mashile, who is camera-shy, amassed a lot of fortune as deputy president David Mabuza’s friend. PIC GCIS

Mashile is also a soccer boss – owning eSwatini’s Premier League team, Manzini Wanderers, while here at home he owns an ABC Motsepe League club called Acornbush United.

ALSO SEE: Dipaleseng mayor gets brand new bakkie from dodgy tenderpreneurs after being awarded R20-million work

Mashile didn’t answer his phone nor answer 013NEWS questions on his email.

He made the accusations against the EFF leader, HODs, CFOs, MECs and other officials in a widely circulated email he wrote on 3 June 2022 and said he was going to court and will report the matter to the Hawks and the Public Protector as to how officials “collude” with EFF and ANC politicians to award companies of their friends the tenders.

Sedibe denied he ever played any part in influencing MECs, HODs and CFOs to award tenders to businessmen who are his friends, saying that Mashile is a “liar” and was “bitter” because things are “changing” now that Mabuza was no longer influential in Mpumalanga.

DD Mabuza's friend threatens to take Mpumalanga tender squabbles to court
Mpumalanga EFF leader Collen Sedibe. PIC Lowvelder

Sedibe said he was an “entrepreneur and not a tenderpreneur” and the businesses he owned were declared in Parliament’s declaration of members’ interest book.

The EFF leader fired his own retort at Mashile, charging that he has information about Mashile owing millions to SARS and how as a result had resorted to register companies in the names of his siblings in order to dodge the taxman.

“Mathatha Cedrick Mashile is a failed and incompetent tenderpreneur of Mpumalanga making business with two provincial departments only – namely, the Department of Education as a service provider for the government’s school nutrition program for more than 10 years using 5 companies belonging to him and the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liason, formerly as a service provider for security services with 6 companies belonging to him for 9 full years until end of May 2022. Mathatha has captured and monopolised the two departments from the whole era of DD Mabuza and he doesn’t want to accept that things has changed for him.”

Since Mabuza left Mpumalanga to become the deputy president in February 2018, he has been losing control of the province and his allies in ANC and business have been purged. The province is now led by Mandla Ndlovu – an ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa – who was elected on an anti-Mabuza ticket as his ANC provincial successor in April 2022 following 4 years of failed attempts to convene the elective conference.

With the factional battles still continuing ahead of the ANC’s 55th elective congress in December 2022, the wrangles for tenders and positions look far from being over…

Mashile wrote in the email that of late he had been watching how a new grouping led by Sedibe had been influencing Mpumalanga HODs, MECs and other officials to give tenders to themselves. He said he would supply information to the Hawks and Public Protector about how a 3-year tender contract worth R1-billion was recently awarded to a company fronted by an acting departmental HOD.

“This information we will prove in court,” the businessman said in the leaked email dated 3 June 2022 sent to officials of the Mpumalanga government.

He said that he would show how Sedibe and other government officials, which include HODs, CFOs and tender officers use 3 frequently hired security companies that currently have contracts with the Mpumalanga government as fronts and that those companies were too inexperienced to have been appointed.

“There is a court application that was brought on 1 June 2022 at the Mpumalanga High Court by 5 companies,” he said in the email. “How does a shelf company or companies that does not meet the requirement get appointed to the biggest clusters of hospitals with no experience using fraudulent document,?” he said, adding that these 5 companies are experienced but were recently overlooked when lucrative tenders were recently awarded by at least 3 Mpumalanga departments to the new companies allegedly aligned to Sedibe.

(edited by MLM)
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