CIPRO has defended itself against allegations around the controversial awarding of its IT tender to VALORit earlier this year.
This week, the Democratic Alliance's Andricus van der Westhuizen, issued a statement referring to an affidavit signed by Abe Mbalawa, a consultant to Cipro, alleging he was advised to partner with VALORit by Cipro's CIO Dr Michael Twum-Darko.
In this affidavit, Mbulawa alleges he was provided with a business case and additional material by Dr Twum-Darko.
Dr Twum-Darko's security clearance was also called into question, as he is not originally from South Africa.
CIPRO CEO Keith Sendwe comments: "We will continue undeterred with our organisational transformation programme which is in the best interests of our clients and in keeping with the broader national agenda.
"The awarding of the CIPRO information technology tender to VALORit early this year has been addressed by the organisation and a number of questions were addressed via the office of the Director-General of Trade and Industry. This has been done on several occasions as well as on many different platforms including the media."
Sendwe responds to the inference that VALORit was urged upon Mbulawa with: "VALORit submitted a bid proposal as an individual bidder and was not part of a joint venture or consortium. It also did not declare a subcontracting arrangement with Mantra Consulting."
He also says that business case was a public document which went through a number of iterations of review and was part of the evaluation process.
Sendwe states that inferences made regarding "previous relationships" between Mbulawa and Dr Twum-Darko and their influence on the outcome of the tender are misleading as the two have both been involved in the close-knit South African IT industty.
He adds that an assertion that the allocation of the VALORit tender "had drawn the attention of the Auditor-General" is misleading as a forensic audit has already been conducted by the office of the Auditor-General. The allegations and affidavit by Mbulawa are currently with the Auditor-General for further investigation and CIPRO is awaiting the final report.
A court case between Mantra Consulting and VALORit, which is currently in progress, is also referred to in the media statement, but Sendwe says this is a matter between the two parties, with CIPRO and the Minister of Trade & Industry cited as first and second interested parties rather than defendants.
Sendwe adds that Dr Twum-Darko took office in January 2008. "He immediately completed security clearance documents, which were submitted to the National Intelligence Agency by CIPRO’s Security unit. He also completed assets declaration forms and signed the customary declaration of secrecy."