Was there ever any doubt that something like this would surface? The R15 million stadium opened in Lesseyton, Eastern Cape this week raised suspicions from the minute its ceremonial ribbon was cut.

And by ceremonial ribbon, of course, we mean barrier tape…

ANC stadium R15 million
Photo: Facebook

R15 million stadium ‘likely a front for corruption

A report carried by the Daily Dispatch on Friday has blown the lid off the whole sorry process. Alarm bells started ringing on Monday, when the R15 million price tag announced for the glorified playing field turned out to be R7 million less than the initial price. Even then, the eight-figure fee still looked exceedingly steep.

A cost evaluation sent to the DA on Thursday valued the so-called stadium at R4.85 million, meaning that the ANC municipality of Enoch Mgijima spent THREE TIMES as much as they should have on the ill-fated project.

Thalami Civils: Company who won R15 million stadium tender now under intense scrutiny

However, these latest revelations really do prove that those in charge of the tender process have A LOT to answer for. Thalami Civils, the company chosen to carry out the stadium works, also come out of this battered and bruised:

  • Apparently, Thulani Civils WERE NOT the preferred bidder for this tender. Quite the opposite is true, actually.
  • It’s understood that the group were the lowest-ranked bidder in the entire tender process – but still won the contract.
  • The company allegedly promised to build 400 seats, but only 200 seats are available at Lesseyton Stadium.
  • The facility itself is already struggling, after a set goalposts ‘collapsed’ and no running water was made available.
  • COGTA and The Hawks have both launched investigations into the deal.

What were they thinking?

With just over three weeks to go until the 2021 Elections, this is exactly the kind of PR nightmare the ANC could do without. But officials for the Enoch Mgijima Municipality initially seemed to have no shame. They were the ones who uploaded pictures and videos of the grand unveiling to their Facebook pages, after all…

It was only the public backlash that forced them into a retreat. Even then, local politicians tried to defend the R15 million stadium, saying that most of the money was spent on ‘earthworks and ‘state-of-the-art changing rooms’. Needless to say, the final product does not live up to its billing – and a slew of criminal probes are now underway.

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