Contractors of Beitbridge border fence to appeal ruling to repay profits

Contractors of Beitbridge border fence to appeal ruling to repay profits


19-05-2022
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Eyewitnessnews
Source

The Special Tribunal will hear an appeal on Thursday against its March ruling that the contractors who were awarded the tender to erect the Beitbridge border fence must repay their profits.



JOHANNESBURG - The Special Tribunal will hear an appeal on Thursday against its March ruling that the contractors who were awarded the tender to erect the Beitbridge border fence must repay their profits.



The fence was erected in March 2020 in a bid to stop illegal border crossings during the COVID-19 pandemic.



But it was largely ineffective, and a joint investigation conducted by the public works department’s anti-corruption unit and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) subsequently revealed massive potential graft.



The contracts for the fence were set aside last year and in March, the Special Tribunal also ordered the companies that had been awarded the contracts had to pay back their profits.



In appeal papers, Caledon River Properties, trading as Magwa Construction and Profteam CC, contended that the tribunal failed to consider the "undisputed facts", the evidence of the witnesses and in doing so, erred.



It further argued that the tribunal erred in finding the fence started to fall apart when the evidence indicated the damage was the result of the South African National Defence Force and the department’s failure to take control of, patrol and protect the fence.



Profteam, meanwhile, argued that the fence specifications were agreed to at various site meetings and that daily reports were sent to the department.



It maintained that master plans were accepted and the certificate of completion duly signed off in April 2020 by the ministry and the defence force.

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