The Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha has revealed that he will be looking at prospects to extricate his department from its Bosasa contracts.
“If we take Bosasa as a starting point, I repeatedly asked the management of correctional services, how did we end up being in a situation where we have had to use virement [the process of transferring items from one financial account to another] year in, year out to fund this outsourced service?” he said at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) headquarters in Tshwane on Friday.
He was speaking at a briefing to introduce the newly appointed National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), advocate Shamila Batohi, to NPA staff and management.
Last week, startling revelations were made at the commission of inquiry into state capture by former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi regarding the company’s dealings with government.
The Citizen reports that among the tenders Bosasa scored at Correctional Services, were the following:
A R239 427 694 annual catering contract awarded in 2004, which ran for three years;
A R14 000 000 monthly contract for the erection of seven satellite correctional centres which had to be included in the catering tender authorised on May 17, 2005;
A two-year R236 997 385.31 access control contract awarded to Sondolo IT (Pty) Ltd – a subsidiary of Bosasa – on April 11, 2005;
A R486 937 910 fencing tender awarded to Phezulu Fencing (Pty) Ltd – a Bosasa BEE front company – on November 29, 2005; and
A sum of R224 364 480 awarded to Sondolo IT on March 3, 2006, for designing a system where a TV would be placed in every cell.
“The explanations I got is that the catering equipment became obsolete and unaffordable for the department to replace them. That is one of the factors [that] led to outsourcing.
“I was listening to the Zondo commission and wondering if this explanation was some narrative artificially created to justify something that was not genuine. I suppose the truth will finally prevail,” he added.
In light of these recent revelations, national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole advised the minister that they are reviewing the contracts.
“I have been deeply concerned since I took office about this perpetual outsourcing.
“I look forward to a report soon from him as to the prospects of us extricating ourselves from this and restoring our own insourcing of this service,” he said.