Johannesburg – On April 11, Sunday World published a story in which we reported that the owner of Gijima Holdings, Robert Gumede, has dragged Police Minister Bheki Cele to court over the R88-million contract that was awarded to Gijima’s rival company, IN2IT.
Acting on behalf of both Gumede and Gijima, lawyer Nicqui Galaktiou has since written to us, stating that the story “is false as Mr Gumede is not a party to the application … ” She argued that “Gijima is the applicant in the application which has been brought against Sita [State Information Technology Agency] and IN2IT as the contracting parties.
“The Minister of Police Bheki Cele has been cited solely for purposes of interest and no relief was sought against the minister, who was cited only by virtue of the SAPS’ interest in this matter.” According to Galaktiou, it was false to say Gumede had dragged the minister to court and there had been no tender scuffle between her clients and Cele, insisting that the minister had nothing to do with the tender, the evaluation, and the unlawful award nor any “reversal” as alleged.
The statement that Cele had been thrust into the fray by virtue of being the minister of police has been disputed by Galaktiou, who argued that the minister was not involved in the application other than being cited as an interested party.
Galaktiou said it was untrue that “the court removed Gijima’s application from the urgent roll and granted the IT giant the right to challenge the matter in normal court proceedings” because Gijima requested that the court remove the application from the urgent roll on the basis that it would be heard on an expedited basis and not in “normal court proceedings”.
The court granted the order in Gijima’s favour. She also brought it to our attention that Gumede’s company was not ordered to pay Sita’s costs as reported, saying the costs were reserved. Sunday World’s assertion that “Gijima is no stranger to taking the state to court over tenders…” was also disputed by Galaktiou, who said the “statement is misleading by omission as it referred to one application with Sanral, but omitted to refer to another application in which Gijima was a respondent together with Sanral … Gijima, alongside Sanral, was successful in opposing the relief …”
In view of the above, Sunday World admits that the story did give the impression that Gumede had taken Cele to court when it is actually Sita and IN2IT – as contracting parties – who have been taken to court. We retract the statement and apologise to Gumede and Gijima.