‘Improper conduct’ from firm owned by Roy Moodley’s son evidenced.
First printed in GroundUp.
It has taken over ten years however a long-standing battle between Prasa and Primedia could lastly be drawing to an in depth. And it hasn’t ended properly for the rail company.
On 21 March, Choose Bashier Vally within the Gauteng excessive courtroom put aside a contract between Prasa and Umjanji Media Consortium, and cession agreements between Umjanji and two different firms, Strawberry Worx and Siyathembana, for the availability of out of doors promoting.
In February 2010, Prasa issued a young for firms to offer out of doors promoting on websites it owned. In December 2010, Prasa awarded the contract to an organization known as Umjanji for 5 years.
Primedia had beforehand held the contract to offer promoting on a few of these websites, and after studying of Prasa’s resolution in February 2011, sought and secured a courtroom interdict to stop their eviction from the out of doors promoting websites that they’d occupied with their billboards.
Primedia requested the courtroom to assessment and put aside Prasa’s resolution to nominate Umjanji resulting from a bunch of irregularities within the awarding of the contract.
In line with Choose Vally, the reason for the lengthy delay for this case to be finalised was not resulting from any inefficiency within the courts themselves, however resulting from numerous interlocutory purposes introduced by Prasa (earlier than it stood down from the matter in 2016) and the Umjanji Consortium.
Primedia argued that Prasa mustn’t have awarded the contract and unique rights to all outdoor promoting websites to just one firm.
Probably the most obvious irregularity was that Umjanji was not in existence on the time that the tender had closed. The corporate was solely included one month later, on 23 April 2010. Umjanji was a consortium led by Provantage Media, appearing in live performance with KG Media and Future Development Basis. KG Media was additionally not in existence on the time of the tender briefing.
Additional, one week earlier than the contract was awarded in 2010, Umjanji ceded rights to Strawberry Worx. This cession settlement successfully distributed work from the tender to Strawberry Worx, who had additionally been on the tender briefing. Strawberry Worx is owned by Shevan Moodley, son of Roy Moodley, who has been implicated in state seize.
Choose Vally discovered that “the one inference” from that is that Strawberry Worx knew that Umjanji was going to be awarded the tender – an indication of “improper conduct”.
Then, in August 2011, Umjanji did the identical to a different firm, Siyathembana. Beneath these agreements, Umjanji would successfully share a few of the revenues with these firms. Prasa, below Fortunate Montana, tacitly and straight assented to those agreements.
Because the case proceeded via the courts, then-Public Protector Thuli Madonsela launched her 2015 Derailed report on corruption at Prasa, which examined the Umjanji award and made findings.
In March 2016, with Montana resigned, Prasa withdrew its opposition to Primedia’s case. Choose Vally discovered this resolution “appropriate and commendable”.
Choose Vally discovered that the cession agreements between Prasa, Umjanji, Strawberry Worx, and Siyathembana have been “designed to subvert the management course of inherent within the utility of s.217 of the Structure and so they succeeded in doing so.”
Part 217 of the Structure states: “When an organ of state … contracts for items or companies, it should achieve this [in a way that is] truthful, equitable, clear, aggressive and cost-effective.”
Strawberry Worx had requested Choose Vally to seek out that it was an harmless social gathering that performed no position in Prasa’s resolution and that the courtroom ought to enable it to proceed occupying the Prasa out of doors promoting websites.
Choose Vally discovered this argument with out benefit. Strawberry Worx was not an harmless social gathering; it knew Prasa’s resolution to award Umjanji the tender prematurely and sought to learn through a cession settlement. Choose Vally dominated that the cession agreements have been illegal.
Within the listening to, Strawberry Worx sought to strike from the document additional proof submitted by Primedia and the opposite candidates which appeared to point out the “malfeasant conduct” of Montana, and the extent to which the award of the contract and the cession agreements have been influenced by Montana and Strawberry Worx. This included proof from the Zondo fee.
Choose Vally known as this transfer from Strawberry Worx “unmoored from the sensible actuality of civil process” and dismissed the appliance.
Prasa was ordered to pay the candidates’ prices up till they withdrew from the appliance in March 2016. Siyathembana and Strawberry Worx have been ordered to pay prices from once they intervened within the case, in April 2013 and April 2016 respectively, together with prices for 2 counsel.
Proof at Zondo fee
On 16 March 2020, Martha Ngoye advised the Zondo fee how then-Prasa Group CEO Montana interfered within the Strawberry Worx contract, eradicating it from Intersite, Prasa’s property arm, after Ngoye raised the alarm about irregularities within the contract. Ngoye was appointed to Intersite as CEO in 2011, and moved to her present position as Group Head of Authorized, Danger and Compliance in 2014.
Ngoye testified that Selvan Moodley successfully dictated the phrases of Strawberry Worx’s contract with Intersite. At a gathering with Ngoye and different executives, Strawberry Worx advised her that they might be instructing her on the roll-out of the contract.
In line with Tiro Holele, head of technique at Prasa, chatting with the Zondo Fee on 11 March 2020, Selvan Moodley demanded that Prasa’s attorneys within the Primedia case, Hogan Lovells, needs to be sacked. In line with Holele, Ngoye resisted strongly. This introduced her into battle with Montana.
In line with Ngoye, Montana ordered that the contract be moved from Intersite to Prasa’s head workplace in mid-2013, and Montana’s particular authorized advisor Malini Naidoo eliminated the contract information from Intersite’s workplaces. Hogan Lovells was fired, and Maraj Attorneys appointed of their stead. Maraj Attorneys additionally represented Strawberry Worx.
Solely after Montana was fired did Prasa sack Maraj Attorneys, and withdrew its opposition to the case. DM