Suspended company guards officials
20 January 2012 | Narda Vermaak
LYDENBURG - New information recently emerged that a staggering R292 200 a month is being paid to the suspended security company Kilo Delta for guarding not only two Thaba Chweu officials, but also a sewage plant, library, hostel, and several other insitutions in the region.
Steelburger/Lydenburg News recently reported that the company was chaperoning TCM speaker, Ms Susan Magagula and the MMC for the finance and technical department, Christina Masilela, and that it was allegedly costing TCM taxpayers
R68 351 a month for this "personal protection" at their residential stands in Mashishing.
A new twist in the saga, however, revealed that the municipality is also paying Kilo Delta for other guarding services. A reliable source revealed that none of these expenditures was ever presented to council. It was also never approved for debate or discussion.
The guarding of the hostel in Mashishing alone amounts to R102 526. According to an invoice issued by Kilo Delta, other departments and stations being guarded are Graskop Testing station at R17 088, Sabie Sewer Plant at R25 632, Sabie testing station at R17 088, Leroro office at R17 088, Magagula’s house at R34 175, Masilela's house at R34 175, and Leroro library at R8 544 - all amounting to
R292 200 a month.
According to a recent national report by the Auditor General's consolidated report on all provinces' audits for 2010/11, provincial departments unlawfully spent R16 billion on expenses relating to purchase management.
According to the Private Security Industry Regulation Act, no. 56 of 2001, all private security companies offering guarding services have to be registered at the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira).
After several queries, it came to light that this company's registration has been discontinued from Psira for some time. An enquiry into the suspension of the company was confirmed by a representative for Psira. Kilo Delta Security apparently owes the regulatory authority an undisclosed amount of money.
The effect of a suspension of registration is that the security service provider whose registration is suspended may not render any security service, unless the prior written permission of the authority has been obtained, but during the period of such suspension the security service provider is still bound by all the obligations of a registered security service provider, provided for in this Act and in the Levies Act.
The authority may, subject to section 5(3), withdraw the registration of a security service provider by written notice served on the security service provider if at any time after registration, the security service provider is found guilty of an offence specified in the schedule; is found guilty of improper conduct in terms of this Act; is no longer a fit and proper person to render a security service; or does not comply with one or more of the requirements for registration.
Previously Mr Themba Sibiya, media relations officer at TCM, stated that a letter was handed to the municipality by Magagula and Masilela about threats on their lives. "Upon investigation by TCM, it was discovered that the threats were authentic and indeed posed a threat to the councillors' lives. The threats emanated locally and it would therefore not have been ideal to employ the services of a local company.
He confirmed that the guarding of the councillors was not a permanent arrangement and that was why the contract with the company was on a month-to-month basis, until the security risk is dealt with.
"The nature of the threats cannot be divulged because it might compromise the security of the individuals," Sibiya said.
According to a reliable source in the SAP, no charges were laid and no alleged threats on the officials’ lives had been reported.
Steelburger/Lydenburg News directed questions to TCM about the following: transparency regarding the R292 200, the apparent unnecessary guarding of other institutions, why these matters were not laid before council for approval, if the correct procedure with regard to the appointment of a company was followed, why a case of intimidation on account of the threats was not opened, and if the municipality was aware that Kilo Delta was suspended from PSIRA.
After two weeks, no response from TCM had been received.