Acting Executive Mayor
Cllr. Sandiso Gcabayi
Telephone: 044-501 3000
1. The abovementioned matter refers.
2 On the basis of a tender process, Bitou Municipality awarded and entered into a procurement contract with the now liquidated Ukhana Projects CC in 30 November 2020 which contract commenced in January 2021. Their mandate was to build 169 top structures in Qolweni Community. In April 2021, the contract was terminated with Ukhana Projects CC.
3. In about 27 May 2021, it came to the knowledge via the provincial government that there was an urgent application set down being brought against the municipality and the Provincial Department of Human Settlements by Dr Anele Hammond. As against the municipality, the main relief sought was specific performance by re-instatement of the Qolweni contract. Having not received notice of this application, the Municipality did not respond, but in any event, the Applicants removed that urgent application from the roll.
4. On 15 June 2021, the Applicants brought urgent proceedings for the same relief and the attorneys of the municipality attended the court. The matter was adjourned to 18 June 2021 upon request by the applicant that, there were some informal discussions with the Department of Human Settlements subsequent to a mediation process which was known to them. Subsequently and upon notice by the applicant, the matter resumed on 15 July for hearing. During this time, it was apparent from the judge that the matter could not be heard as there were outstanding papers from the applicant and then , by agreement the court gave directives that the matter be heard on 22 July to allow all the parties to file their papers. Furthermore, the court gave directives on 22 July that, it cannot hear the matter on the day as the matter was deemed not to be urgent and had to allow the presiding judge to consider the papers and finally it was adjourned to 5 August 2021 in order to give the parties the time to read and file the necessary answering and opposing papers.
5. To be clear, on 5 August the Applicants conceded that they are not Ukhana Projects in liquidation. The Applicants are in fact Hammond and Hammond (H&H), an NPO who had a sort of working relationship with Ukhana Projects. This NPO claimed that Ukhana Projects CC ceded its rights to the Qolweni Project, and on the basis of that purported cession, it instituted urgent interdict proceedings to have the Qolweni Contract re-instated.
6. The Municipality opposed the application on the basis of locus standi. The municipality never entered a contract with H&H, neither was there any approval or consent for Ukhana Projects to cede or assign the contract to a third person.
7. On 4 August 2021, the Liquidators of Ukhana Projects CC wrote to the Provincial Government. In that communication, the liquidators revealed that Ukhana Projects CC had ceded its rights in 2017 to Nedbank. As a result, Ukhana could never have legally ceded its rights to any other person. This information was made available to the Court.
8. The Court also had preliminary reservations with the status of the Applicant, coupled with the new information from the liquidators, the Applicant’s status and locus standi required to be fully explained in additional papers. The judge gave the Applicant’s Counsel time to receive further instructions.
9. When the matter was re-called, the Applicants informed the Court, inter alia, that various issues relating to the relief sought had become moot. They withdrew the proceedings. The Court reserved judgement on Costs.
10. Having noted the proceedings in court and the affidavits which were filed thereat, it is inconceivable that the , applicant did not lay a criminal complaint with the SAPS as it alleged that, some officials in the municipality were involved in corruption post tender award with the applicant (Dr Anele Hammond). These allegations of corruption are found in her founding affidavit.
11. Now, the municipality had taken into consideration these allegations and hold the view that, their nature require internal investigations at the behest of council. It is worth to note that, during the process of the court proceedings the council of the municipality had not been able to sit and convene a quorate municipal council in order to deal with these allegations.
12. In the circumstances, the Acting Executive Mayor had taken a resolution to grant special leave to the affected municipal officials in order to allow due process to be followed and further invite political parties to attend municipal council that will be duly constituted, where the item on these allegations will be presented for consideration by Council acting within the parameters of the relevant law.
Circulated By: Andile Namntu on behalf of
Councillor Sandiso Gcabayi
Acting Executive Mayor of the Bitou Local Municipality