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