High Court and Supreme Court of Appeals judgements expose DIRCO’s incompetence and negligence

Issued by Mergan Chetty MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
17 Sep 2023 in News

During a sitting of DIRCO’s Portfolio Committee to evaluate the ‘outcome and implications of the Supreme Court of Appeal judgement on the New York project; and the corrective measures the Department is taking to recover the money’, it was patently clear from the judgements issued by both the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, that DIRCO itself was at fault for the R118 million New York Pilot Project fiasco.

Both judgements repeat the negligence by both the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) and Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) for disqualifying one bidder for its failure to provide audited financial statements when both bids failed to meet this express requirement of the Request for Proposals (RFP). In not exercising consistency and fairness, the integrity of both the BAC and BEC is brought into question.

Furthermore, it was indicated in both judgements, that the Steering Committee strayed from the RFP’s mandate and consequently burdened the Department with the purchase of the property instead of securing a lease agreement. The move smacks of procedural deviation and impropriety.

The DA has continuously raised the issue of the Department acting as a law unto themselves, and because some officials believe they are closely connected to the political elite, and therefore untouchable.

It is against this backdrop that we demand a thorough investigation into the roles played by the BEC, the BAC, the Steering Committee, and others implicated in initiating and executing this debacle. The Director-General must forward the names of all involved to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) for a detailed inquiry.

The DA will not rest until all of those involved in this New York scandal are brought to book, and monies are recovered from those officials who are found guilty.