Swallows divorce sponsors over scandal

Premiership

Swallows FC have announced their divorce from one of the club's sponsors following allegations of corruption relating to a government tender.

Swallows were thrusted into the spotlight after their partners In2IT Technologies were alleged to have been involved in a scandal relating to an illegitimate issuance of a tender.

The story was initially brought to light by City Press over the weekend, when a R30-million contract to provide Gauteng’s e-government department with IT services, including cybersecurity, was concluded within 24 hours, according to the publications.

The matter was subsequently escalated to President Cyril Ramaphosa "after a whistle-blower wrote a letter of complaint to the Union Buildings."

According to the report, "The request for quotations reveals that service providers were, in effect, given two business hours to respond to the invitation to tender."

This has since seen Swallows move swiftly to part company with their shirt sponsors despite their insistance that correct processes were followed.

Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, who is a major shareholder of the club, has also distanced himself from any involvement in the tender process and further called for legal action against In2IT Technologies over their sponsorship contract worth R150 000 per month.

"It has come to my attention that a company that sponsors a soccer team that I am involved [with], Swallows FC, is involved in a tender dispute with the Gauteng Provincial government," read a statement by Lesufi.

"I was not involved in this tender, nor was I lobbied by the company or the Department of eGovernment to support the bid.

"I have since asked Swallows FC to immediate resume the legal and administrative processes to terminate the R150k per month sponsorship without necessarily insinuating that the company is guilty or not.

"It must [also] be stated that when the club was registered with the PSL, I recused myself from the ownership of the team."

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