Cabinet has called on all public institutions to uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability. Briefing the media in Pretoria on Cabinet’s recent meeting, Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, says it has called on those institutions to fulfill their mandates effectively and efficiently.
The meeting has also raised concerns regarding allegations of corruption affecting COVID-19 relief processes.
Presidential Spokesperson and Gauteng ANC PEC member, Khusela Diko, Health MEC, Dr Bandile Masuku, and the City of Johannesburg’s MMC, Loyiso Masuku, have taken a leave of absence. They have been implicated in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tender scandal.
This is just one of many alleged corruption-related incidents that cabinet is concerned about.
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says the government is committed to dealing with corruption.
“As part of strengthening these interventions, cabinet also approved the setting up of a team of four ministers to, amongst others, look into all COVID-19 related procurements made during the lockdown period and strengthen current procurement systems. The team comprises the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola (Convenor); Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Minister in The Presidency, Mr Jackson Mthembu.”
Minister Lamola briefs media on outcomes of Cabinet meeting:
Investigation into allegations
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation for the SIU to investigate allegations relating to the misuse of COVID-19 relief funds.
He also announced the formation of a ministerial committee to investigate allegations of corruption related to the procurement of PPE.
“The committee is going to order, as the president has already done, all government departments across the country to publish the list of all those that have received or participated in any procurement during this period of the national state of disaster. From that step, law enforcement agencies, if there is any suspicion or allegations of any corruption, will have the information at hand. It is aimed to ensure that it is known who got the tender; for how much; (and) what was the purpose of that.”
Lamola also had a message for the law enforcement agencies.
“They must act without fear or favour. They must do their job. They have been freed. If there was any doubt that they must not do their job cabinet is saying they must just do what the constitution says. It is constitutionally guaranteed. No one is going to intervene or interfere with the job of law enforcement agencies. What we are doing in the committee is to make the information and put it at their disposal.”
The committee will also look at ways in which law enforcement agencies can be supported to ensure that they have resources to fight corruption.