The contractor who abandoned projects in North West after pocketing R25 million pleaded poverty while driving to meetings and construction sites in new luxury cars, sources said.
According to government officials, civil engineers and business associates, businessman Oberon Sungulani Matsuvuki rocked up for meetings with officials and civil engineers in expensive cars but continued to claim he had no money to complete projects.
This included a dark blue Lamborghini.
African Times has been reliably informed that Matsuvuki’s company, Ndhuna Civil Engineering Services, abandoned another project at Ganyesa in Vryburg in 2019, citing cash flow problems.
The North West Department of Public Works and Road was forced to terminate Ndhuna’s Ganyesa contract in 2020, the sources said, after the company abandoned it.
The sources said Ndhuna was appointed to build a two-kilometre road at Ganyesa but failed to complete the job.
“We had a small job there. He [Matsuvuki] was the lowest in price. It was a two-kilometre section of the road to complete. He actually failed to complete the job, and we had to terminate him. His contract was terminated eventually by the department because of a lack of progress, and not getting the job done,“ said an engineer.
“He didn’t have the resources but when I look at the pictures of the flashy cars he has posted on his social media, and the articles you wrote, it shocks me. But we were not prepared to pay him upfront. He just had to progress, and I think his cash flow ran out.”
A senior civil servant added that Matsuvuki was “stingy with money” and simply had no intention to spend on equipment and material to complete the road.
“He was very stingy with the cash flow. He just didn’t want to spend money on the project. But it was really a small project,” the official said.
A close associate of Matsuvuki’s confirmed that the businessman regularly visited sites in his Lamborghini. This included the project at Ganyesa and another one in Mamelodi, awarded by Ford three years ago.
Another source said Matsuvuki came to official meetings in flashy cars but claimed he had no money to complete the Ganyesa road.
“He never came to the site in a Lamborghini, but I was not always there. When we had meetings, yes, he came there in fancy cars. I can’t say why he failed to produce. He said he had cash flow problems, but it seems he just didn’t want to put money on the project,” said the source.
Pictures posted on Matsuvuki’s social media platform, Instagram, show the businessman posing next to a blue Lamborghini. In the caption, he said: “The sun is slowly going down, but the temperature is rising.”
The Ganyesa road is not the only project that Matsuvuki abandoned.
According to official documents, Ndhuna Civils had been awarded a R25,7 million contract to patch and reseal the road between Segwaelane and Wonderkop outside Rustenburg.
However, after pocketing R15.1 million, Matsuvuki halted the contract alleging cash flow problems. He then abandoned the project after receiving a notice of termination for poor performance.
The contractor did the same with the Hebron project, valued at R21.5 million, for the special maintenance of the road in the Brits area. Matsuvuki left the project incomplete after pocketing R10 million, claiming he had run out of cash.
This left local communities high and dry. The department was once again forced to terminate his contract.
Matsuvuki spent money made from the abandoned projects on expensive clothes, liquor, cigars and parties.
Two weeks ago, African Times reported that the department rewarded Ndhuna with a R134 million contract to build a road at Khunotswana in Zeerust in March this year after he abandoned two projects in 2021.
Last month Matsuvuki sent three invoices with different figures for the same job, which raised questions about potentially inflated or fraudulent claims by the company for its work on the Khunotswana project.
Matsivuki has repeatedly failed to respond to detailed questions about questionable tenders in North West. He ignored questions sent via email and text messages about poor workmanship, abandoned projects, and the basis on which he got a R134 million contract after abandoning projects.
The contractor initially agreed to an in-person interview but later ignored follow-up calls to schedule it.
Meanwhile, political tension is rising in the North West over the Ndhuna contract both in the ANC and its provincial government.
This week, ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula summoned the North West ANC leaders to meetings at the governing party’s headquarters, Luthuli House.
According to a letter seen by African Times, dated July 11, Mbalula summoned both the provincial top five officials, led by provincial chairperson Nono Maloi, and the PEC to separate meetings on Thursday.
While the invitation letter had no agenda, saying “the agenda and documentation will be circulated”, sources believed the PEC had been summoned to explain allegations of widespread tender corruption, irregularities and fraud in the North West.
They added that Maloi, the acting premier, also summoned the head of the Department of Public Works and Roads, Moss Kgantsi and Chief Financial Officer Peter Modika earlier this week to explain tender irregularities and fraud in the department.