Meanwhile, the EFF has approached the Public Protector’s office, accusing the justice department of, among other things, the “irregular awarding of tenders” to security company Fidelity and the appointment of officials without the necessary qualifications. In the letter, addressed to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and written by EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, the party states that it has been approached by individuals within the justice department, as well as those with knowledge of the goings-on there, informing them of such improprieties.
In the letter, the party names a director within the department who “does not possess the prerequisite qualifications” and who apparently “embellished his academic qualifications and/or has questionable academic qualifications”.Mandla Mathebula, media research and liaison officer in the justice department, said that contrary to the allegations, the department could confirm that the director was employed in January 2009 and held a national diploma in human resources, which he obtained in 1997. “He also has an advanced diploma in labour law, which he obtained in 1998,” said Mathebula.
In its letter to Mkhwebane, the EFF also states that it is further alleged that the director “engineered the awarding of guarding and cash-in-transit security contracts to Fidelity Security Group between 2004 and 2009”. Gardee informed City Press that the EFF had exhausted every possible attempt to engage with Justice Minister Michael Masutha with regard to the allegations, adding: “We have even raised these questions in parliamentary portfolio committee meetings and have not received any compelling response.”The EFF also writes in the letter that the director was earmarked to be redeployed to the post of security director – a position that, according to the EFF’s sources, would “amass him more influence to enable Fidelity to get the coveted R1.
2 billion-plus security contract, set to be advertised in May”.However, Mathebula denied this.“Allegations relating to a so-called R1.
2 billion security tender that ‘will be advertised in May’ are untrue,” Mathebula said.