‘Significant irregularities’ in Western Cape’s R282m Royal Security tender – court filings

‘Significant irregularities’ in Western Cape’s R282m Royal Security tender – court filings
llustrative image | Sources: From left: Businessman Roy Moodley. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thuli Dlamini) | Western Cape premier Alan Winde. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach ) | Western Cape infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers. / Brenton Geach) | Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais | iStock |

A rival bidder has made allegations of serious irregularities in the tender process for a security contract awarded to Royal Security, a company once controlled by State Capture ‘kingpin’ Roy Moodley.

Allegations of bid rigging and other irregularities have surfaced in a new court application seeking to interdict the appointment of Royal Security by the Western Cape’s Department of Infrastructure.

Royal Security, once run by controversial businessman Roy Moodley, recently won a R282-million contract to provide security services for the province’s fixed assets.

The business is now controlled by Moodley’s son, Magesh. 

One of the incumbent contractors has instituted legal proceedings against the department and Royal Security, among other respondents.

Seal Security, which had won an earlier bid in 2020 to provide the same services to the department, wants the Western Cape High Court to interdict the department from appointing Royal Security while a review application to set aside the tender is under way. 

Seal Security and Tyte Security Services, another Royal rival, shared the earlier contract. 

Royal Security’s offices in Bellville, Cape Town. (Pictures: Supplied)

In its court filings, the applicant has alleged that there were “significant irregularities” in the tender process.

In the filings, Seal Security has essentially accused the department of bid rigging. It is also alleging that Royal Security, headquartered in Durban, does not have the necessary footprint in the Western Cape to deliver the services required by the bid specifications. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Royal Security — founded by State Capture ‘kingpin’ Roy Moodley — bags R282m contract in DA-led Western Cape

MEC Tertuis Simmers’s spokesperson, Ntobeko Mbingeleli, acknowledged receipt of our queries but failed to respond.

Magesh Moodley did not respond to e-mailed queries. 

We also sought comment from Western Cape premier Alan Winde. Instead of responding to our queries, Winde issued a public statement on Tuesday.

“… I have been informed that one of the losing bidders in a recent tender issued by the WCG Department of Infrastructure will be challenging the decision in court. I welcome this process and the scrutiny of our supply chain management processes,” reads the statement. 

‘Unfair advantage’

In its court filings, the applicant alleges that:

  • Royal Security does not have the adequate resources at its Cape Town offices to render the services. When Royal’s offices in Bellville were assessed, the company effectively failed the test. About a week later, the department’s officials for some reason went to KwaZulu-Natal to reassess Royal’s bid offering based on its Durban offices. “It is evident [from bid evaluation documents] that Royal Security performed dismally [in the assessment of its Bellville office] and the [evaluator] was not able to verify the actual ability of Royal Security to render the services…” read the papers. Seal Security claims its rival was given a “second bite of the cherry” when, after it had allegedly failed its Cape Town assessment, its Durban offices were instead considered;
  • One of the department’s officials allegedly rigged the bid in favour of Royal Security. The bidders were assessed based on how many security guards they employed at their Western Cape offices and how many tactical and armoured vehicles they own, along with other considerations. This “operational risk assessment” had a maximum score of 142. According to the court filings, Royal Security initially obtained a score of only 77, or 54%. But the department’s evaluator allegedly “arbitrarily amended” the maximum score to 112, giving Royal Security a score of 68%. “The royal treatment the respondent received kept its tender alive. That constitutes an irregularity.”;
  • Royal Security allegedly does not have a functional CCTV control room, one of the key requirements for the bid. “Given the emphasis of a control room, incorporating a fully functional CCTV capability to be located in the Western Cape, it is our view that Royal Security’s tender submission did not constitute an acceptable tender…” according to the court filings. DM

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Dee Bee says:

    This is an acid test for the DA: if these allegations are credible, it is corrupt to the core, and those responsible must be brought to book. It must be done quickly and without fear or favour as to the consequences of ‘constituents’ within the DA losing out. If it’s bungled, it will simply show a party that isn’t any better than the ANC when the chips are down.

    • Gerrie Pretorius says:

      Agreed. Time to put the money where the mouth is.

    • Richard Bryant says:

      You confuse a bid evaluation process with a political process. These decisions are made by paid officials who work for the City/Province. It would be very scary if the DA or any political party were involved in such processes. It’s not impossible that a bid evaluation committee could be influenced by persons who are corrupt or with a different agenda.

      We know how the ANC work with cadres like bees looking for places to loot.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Sounds like you’ve already made your decision and are just dying for the allegations to be true. You give your anti-DA credentials away by using inflammatory language like ‘corrupt to the core’ and that it ‘isn’t any better than the ANC when the chips are down’. Do you actually live in the Cape, and if so, have you been to any other town (apart from Howick and Midvaal) or province in the country and seen how badly they are run? I do, and have, and I can tell you the ONLY CHANCE for this ANC-infested country is for the DA to take it over and manage it the outstanding way they do down here.

      • Max Ozinsky says:

        So you saying a corrupt DA is better than a corrupt ANC?

      • Belinda Cavero says:

        I’ll speak for myself and a (very large) handful of others, we envy the DA-led WC and feel pretty much stuck in the mud of our ANC-led municipalities; we just can not get enough votes to turn the stinking tide.

    • Jennifer D says:

      “It is corrupt to the core” – how on earth do you get from one problematic tender which has been exposed before it started to “corrupt to the core”.

    • Rowan G says:

      As others have pointed out, claiming a party to be “corrupt to the core” because of one tender is a bit much. At the same time, the corrupt people involved in this deal must be brought to book if the allegations are true.

      • Cheryl Siewierski says:

        Agreed. Dee Bee’s usually measured and informed comments are a little unfair and absolutist in this case. I do agree that any wrongdoing must be investigated and dealt with promptly, whether or not it involves any party officials – it is equally, however, if not more likely, that paid city officials outside of politics have dealt with the process. Whoever is responsible, due process must happen – and labelling the DA ‘rotten to the core’ even if wrong-doing is found is just silly, especially when Winde is clearly okay with an investigation into the tender.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      Considering DA and ANC in a comparative sense is farcical.

      You may as well compare a Porsche to sour milk.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    The plot thickens,now will all the critics again accuse PLM of shoddy investigation,falling back on “innocent until proven guilty”,hearsay evidence,bla,bla,bla.

    • Hennie at Work says:

      It’s quite simple – in the first article Pieter Louis wrote, his hysterical out-of-breath “exposure” was just that – hysterical. He didn’t investigate anything. He wrote a one-sided piece with a one-line comment from Alan Winde. The fact that the Western Cape government acknowledges that this could be a problematic tender isn’t being covered by the journalist. Perhaps a bit more balance by the author and then he won’t be accused of anything.

      • Cheryl Siewierski says:

        Agreed. And even this article seems premature in that it raises more questions than it attempts to answer. Who is on the committee that allegedly made these concessions is just the first of those questions that comes to mind, for example. Similarly, what pre-tender processes were there? I’m pretty sure that these questions could be answered with a little journalistic digging – they don’t need to wait for someone’s response. At the moment, this is still just covering an accusation and doesn’t reveal the kind of detail DM, and especially Scorpio, is known for.

      • jcdville stormers says:

        Funny nobody criticises any of his investigations,but when anything is said about the DA ,then suddenly every trick in the vocabulary is used to go “hysterical “about his investigations

  • Gazeley Walker says:

    Is this the same Royal Security that paid Zuma a hefty monthly stipend in KZN, while Zuma was in government? Why on earth would the DA associate itself with this crowd?
    Hopefully the court case will clarify the situation, but I cannot help but feel that Moodley & co. have “connections” within the process, who are benefitting in some way, because how else does a questionable KZN based security company suddenly land such a lucrative contract – without having all the requisite assets in the Cape to underpin the service delivery required by the contract?

  • Ian Gwilt says:

    I see Winde has said they welcome the process.
    Who ever is politically in charge you can not prevent crooks who want to feather their nest , however you can assist with any investigation and if corruption is involved (which would not surprise me in the slightest) come down hard on the perpetrators and see what safeguards can be implemented to prevent repeat.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    I am sure that if there are irregularities Alan Winde will be the first two actions some disciplinary measures. He is a straight arrow guy.

  • Rod Gush says:

    On the surface, this doesn’t look good at all. Hopefully the investigation is a quick process,and if there is fault the guilty party/ies are identified and punished.

  • neill hurford says:

    If Mr Winde is keen for the process to be investigated or challenged, how is it that his government allowed obviously dodgy operatives to win a hugely significant tender in the first place. What value must we put on the claim that the ‘Western Cape is a DA-run province’. Is it? And if it is, what comfort is there in that?

  • Rae Earl says:

    Alan Winde and his team have no option but to go for the jugular once they unravel this mess and isolate the culprits. The Western Cape stands as a beacon of hope for every citizen in this country when it comes to showing that the DA is the only credible vanguard against the entrenched corruption of the ANC and the EFF. Mr. Winde must play open cards in every respect and not side-step awkward questions from Daily Maverick and other media houses by issuing bland public statements which reveal nothing about efforts to contain and deal with situations like the Royal Security debacle.

    • jcdville stormers says:


    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      They don’t need to “go for the jugular”, they need to approach the situation with an open mind and follow the law, wherever it leads. And I have no doubt that Mr Winde will do exactly that.

    • Alley Cat says:

      Sadly Rae, your statement “The Western Cape stands as a beacon of hope for every citizen in this country when it comes to showing that the DA is the only credible vanguard against the entrenched corruption of the ANC and the EFF” is patently wrong. Most citizens of this country are apathetic (i.e. don’t vote at all) or blindly supportive of the ANC due to their struggle credentials. I wish I could agree with you but I can’t.

  • Brian Botes says:

    Please separate administration from politics. This is an admin issue which the DA premier will ensure is investigated.

  • André Pelser says:

    Tenders are awarded on the basis of bid adjudication committee assessments, comprised of officials and politicians. Revealing who was on the committee that awarded the tender to Royal may be revealing. The lack of local facilities and knowledge would seem to rule them out, the court process should cast some light on the issue.

  • Brian Cotter says:

    A few key dates would be helpful for the RFP process with names of bidders. Was this open tender where prices were published. Was there a prequalification?
    Something similar to the SANRAL Tender information when the Chinese Companies managed to slip in on the blind side (when design engineers couldn’t do technical adjudication) and get the Multi Billion Rand Infrastructure Contracts just after Cyril said he had sorted out the Chinese Locomotive Spares.

  • Brian Doyle says:

    The DA need to act swiftly to retain credibility. Alan Winde at least stood up and wanted the tender to be investigated. Now the party must do the same and prosecute those responsible

  • Jan Malan says:

    I trust the DA if any of their officials are corrupt this official will be brought to book. This is not the first time an official was crooked in the DA but they were kicked out. This is not the ANC where an official were crooked the ANC protects that official.

  • Belinda Cavero says:

    It’s incredulous that a company with a seriously flawed background even gets a look-in at tendering. Just looking at pics of Royal Security’s offices – no respect for customer service. Bad taste from rotten apples.

    • Ben Harper says:

      It’s a government tender, it has to be published in the Government Gazette, any company that is legally registered and operating can bid – that’s the law

  • Change is good sa says:

    Corrupt officials will emerge in all political parties because the corruptors are out there offering bribes, and if that does not work, initiating threats and blackmail. Political parties cannot control everyone that they employ. People fall off the rails for any number of reasons. What is important is how they make those in office accountable.
    I believe the swift action of the other tender companies, plus Alan Winde’s response shows the DA is up for the challenge of changing this never ending legacy of corruption from the ANC, who hold no one to account, ever.

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