Man dead for 2 years wins R1m PPE tender contract in Eastern Cape

Man dead for 2 years wins R1m PPE tender contract in Eastern Cape

- Odwa Matshaya has been dead for two years but despite this, his company has been awarded a R1 million PPE contract

- This has cast further doubt on the Covid-19 procurement scheme which has been plagued by corruption scandals

- An insider at the health department says cases like this are the tip of the iceberg

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An East London businessman, Odwa KK Matshaya, who had been dead for two years was the recipient of an Eastern Cape PPE tender contract valued at R992,105.

His family were shocked to see his name on the list of 600 companies which were awarded contracts under the R1.2 billion Covid-19 procurement scheme.

Matshaya was the sole member of 2KS Construction and Projects. Adding to confusion other Eastern Cape businessmen have said that their companies had been awarded tenders but they had not received contracts from the health department.

This casts further doubt of the procurement process which has been mired in corruption and scandals.

Recently the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) had frozen 40 companies and individuals bank accounts in Gauteng in connection with alleged tender fraud.

Matshaya's relative works for the government and wanted to remain anonymous confirmed that Matshaya was dead and his company had appeared on the tender list according to The Sowetan Live.

“KK died two years ago and was the owner and sole director of this company. This came as a shock to us but the family does not want to talk more about this. This is not good at all — this is rot. Who did this and for what good reason?” the man asked.

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An insider at the health department told the Dispatch that this is a fraction of some of the suspicious activity surrounding the tenders with many "ghost" companies winning tenders.

“If you dig more, you will find there are ghost companies that got paid millions of rand. Get their account numbers — you will be shocked by who benefited. There are companies that were given appointment letters but no work was given to them, yet their names appear on the provincial list as companies that were awarded work,” said the official.

Mdu Madikane, of Associates Logistics JV, said that his company had been awarded a tender and according to the list the company had been paid R1.130 million but this was not the case at all.

“I only got an appointment letter to supply and deliver health care respirator masks to the health department. I never received an award letter. The next thing my name appears as one of the companies that got the work,” said Madikane.

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He believes this is the work of a syndicate which is operating within the health department.

“This is corruption that is being committed by a syndicate. This need to be exposed,” Madikane said.

He had made a bid for the tender to supply N95 and or KN95 masks. He even got a letter of appointment but didn't receive a purchase order.

“That gave me hope that at least I got the work. But what was to follow shocked me. I did not receive any work. Instead I got a call from people to say my name appeared on the list of those who had benefited.”

The health department has said that is has received a number of complaints from people whose companies appear on the PPE supplier list.

Earlier, reported that the World Health Organization has condemned corruption linked to Covid-19 especially in relation to personal protective equipment for health workers.

Speaking during a press conference, director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus likened this kind of corruption to 'murder'.

With graft preventing health workers from obtaining the correct PPE the lives of both professionals and their patients are put at risk, said the WHO chief.

Man dead for 2 years wins R1m PPE tender contract in Eastern Cape

Tedros Ghebreyesus likened Covid-19 corruption to 'murder'. Photo credit: Facebook/Tedros Ghebreyesus
Source: Facebook

In other news, Zandile Gumede's appointment to the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature has caused a widespread outcry from opposition parties and the public. She will be rewarded with a R1.1 million salary.

Gumede is facing criminal charges relating to alleged tender fraud and had been removed as eThekwini mayor last year. Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has broken her silence on the appointment.

In an interview with eNCA she said that the appointment was a promotion. She believed that an internal investigation should have taken place while the criminal investigation is ongoing.

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