The Public Service Accountability Monitor, based at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, says if all spheres of government had maintained adequate checks and balances, allegations of widespread corruption in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19, could have been avoided.

Director Jay Kruuse says it’s about time that all spheres of government crackdown on corruption.

The SIU, which is investigating allegations of corruption in PPE procurement, says the contracts involved run into billions of rands.

The SIU recently told parliament that by the end of June this year, it had spent more than R350 million investigating allegations of corruption in PPE contracts alone.

The unit said it investigated more than 4 000 contracts involving more than 2 400 service providers.

The unit’s Head Advocate Andy Mothibi says, “With the total value being investigated by SIU is standing at R4.8 billion. This is just to be re-emphasized, this is the value of alleged irregular contracts that SIU is investigating of this value already after investigation R1.39 billion has been referred to the special tribunal.”

Director of the Public Service Accountability Monitoring, Jay Kruuse, says government must act against officials who are involved in corrupt activities. He says officials who defraud the state must be removed from the system.

Kruuse says South Africa will continue to rely on the SIU until government deals decisively with corruption.

“Had municipalities provincial and national departments and state-owned entities maintained adequate checks and balances to avoid the misuse and abuse of systems that resulted in widespread corruption, we would not have needed to refer so many cases for investigation by the SIU. It is high time that departments and state-owned entities and municipalities across South Africa introduce and maintain checks and balances that limit the potential for abuse by public servants and contracts.”

SIU hands over 100 cases related to PPE corruption to the NPA for possible prosecution: