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03 December 2012 at 10:09 - Posted by Midrand

KwaZulu tender fraudsters to be named


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Heads are expected to roll in the KwaZulu-Natal department of agriculture, with forensic investigations expected to name the officials who irregularly authorised a R140-million procurement contract for seeds, manure and tractors.

It appears that the purchases were made without supply chain management policies being followed.

KwaZulu-Natal agriculture MEC Meshack Radebe said he was shocked that taxpayers' money had disappeared through unethical expenditure.

Conducting an inspection at his department's satellite offices in Ntshanga on Friday, Radebe discovered dumped tractors, and seeds and fertiliser, worth more than R5-million.

Some of the tractors' parts, including tyres, had been removed.

"This is a fraction of the assets we found," said Radebe. "About R140-million in assets, including tractors, seeds and fertiliser, was procured by officials without proper tender procedures being followed."

Noting that planting seasons had been missed because none of the seeds - which are now unusable because their expiry dates have elapsed - were given to their intended recipients, including small-scale farmers .

"Payment for the procuring of these products has put pressure on our budget. I have inherited a department with financial spending pressures and such corrupt activities will be dealt with accordingly.

"There is no way that the officials who did this will not be arrested."

Radebe said the tractors and manure would be redistributed and the expired seeds would be dumped.

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