The Special Investigating Unit’s application to freeze the accounts of the two companies awarded the contract to erect a fence at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be heard before the unit’s Special Tribunal on Friday.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille, director-general Sam Vukela and acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Juanita Prinsloo have been listed as the respondents in the matter.
The department paid Caledon River Properties Limited and Profteam over R21.8 million in advance for the erection of the 40 kilometre barrier, which separates the two countries.
The SIU wants to reverse the payments and to interdict the department from making further payments.
Early this month, De Lille told the committee that she had taken all the necessary steps to ensure accountability.
This includes her invitation to the Auditor-General and the SIU to probe the matter.
She also outlined where the matter is with regard to the disciplinary process.
“If I could start with Advocates Sam Vukela, the Director-General; I have written a letter to the President with the Beitbridge report. And as we all know, the decision or the consideration lies with the President, how the President wants to proceed on that. We’ve written to the state attorney to appoint a chairperson and an initiator. We’ve also submitted a report to the state attorney so that the chairperson that will be appointed and the initiator, they will be formulating the charges. So, that is work in progress.”
The fence was procured in terms of the COVID-19 prevention measures to stop the inflow of people from neighbouring countries.
Patricia De Lille briefs Parliament’s Public Works Committee on the investigation into the Beitbridge border fence: