Bhisho probes R2m software contract

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The information communication technology (ICT) manager in the office of the premier is under investigation for allegedly authorising a payment of almost R2-million for the installation of computer software without the work being complete.

Eastern Cape director-general Marion Mbina-Mthembu yesterday confirmed that Siyabulela Jindela was being probed for allegedly paying R1.9-million for DriveLock encryption software in premier Phumulo Masualle’s office in 2015, before it had been fully installed.

In a response to Jindela’s union, the Public Servants Association (PSA), Mbina-Mthembu confirmed sending an SMS to health superintendent-general Dr Thobile Mbengashe informing him that Jindela was being investigated.

Jindela said last week that Mbina-Mthembu had blocked his appointment as the health department’s ICT director, but she has denied it.

“I received a reference check request from the superintendent-general at health. I informed him that in an investigation by KPMG, there were challenges around Mr Jindela.

“A reference check is done all the time and if responding to a check means you are infringing on someone’s rights, then PSA should refer this to the bargaining council.

“I am not willing to issue false statements in a reference check,” Mbina-Mthembu told PSA.

She had no authority to tell any administration heads to recommend to the MECs whom to employ.

Mbina-Mthembu provided PSA with extracts of the KPMG report, which shows Jindela’s payment.

The report shows that the company was paid for installing software to 450 computer devices, while in fact only 10 were installed.

But Jindela yesterday denied paying for uncompleted work.

“The reason why the account was paid in full is because DriveLock software was installed successfully on the office of the premier’s server for 450 computers and a testing as a pilot phase was implemented successfully in 10 laptops at the IT unit.

“The project was completed and the service provider paid,” he said.

“However, after the software was installed on the server, it was the responsibility of office’s technicians to rollout a full software deployment in all the 450 computers in the department, but Mbina-Mthembu suspended all ICT projects as the new director-general in May 2015.”

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