"None of the companies would be appointed and they would be notified of the decision in due course."
THE NATIONAL Lotteries Commission (NLC) has controversially disqualified the companies that bid for the launch of the Credo Mutwa Library and Museum project in the Northern Cape following allegations of conflict of interest from one of the bidders.
The closing date and time for the bid was Wednesday, September 19, at 11am. The companies were disqualified after one of the bidders lodged a complaint, alleging that there was conflict of interest allegedly due to some NLC staff members having submitted bids for the project.
Following media enquiries regarding whether the allegations were true or not, the commission said none of the companies would be appointed and they would be notified of the decision in due course.
According to the complainant, the deadline for the tender was on September 19 at 11am. But well after the deadline, applications from commission employees were still being submitted.
“I arrived there at around 10am and submitted my application at 10.30am and there were four companies that had submitted before me. The fourth company submitted minutes before me. After submitting my bid, I decided to sit there hoping there would be a public tender opening session to see who my competitors are.
“As I was sitting there, at around 11.05am two ladies came through the back door and I could see they were employees. I saw them chat with a receptionist and I realised they know each other.
“As I observed the situation, I saw these ladies continue to chat with the receptionist and roam around before they went to the tender box and dropped something and sign up. Five minutes after that I saw one of the ladies coming through and submitting her proposal. She then went back and had a chat with the receptionist before she went back to the tender box again and closed the book.”
According to NLC spokesperson, Kefilwe Makhanya, applications should be submitted at the correct place, date and time.
“There is what we call a public tender opening session whereby they open all applications in the tender boxes and count them in front of the bidders.
“At 11.10am I decided to check the applications book again and realised that they (staffers) had submitted their proposals as if they did so earlier than anyone else.
“Again, there was another bidder that signed after me but I didn’t see them. I assumed a person who signed on behalf of that company was a member of staff,” he said.
But Makhanya said the NLC would not appoint any staff member to render such a service, adding that this would result in a conflict of interest.