Church leaders, who gathered for a silent protest in Cape Town against alleged COVID-19 corruption, say corruption is a sin.  About 30 clergies alternated their protest in groups of 15 each outside the St George’s Cathedral and the provincial parliament, in an effort to observe COVID-19 safety protocols.

About 650 companies and government departments are currently under investigation for alleged COVID-19 corruption to the value of over R7 billion.

Prompting the clerics throughout the country to make their voices heard. They say corruption is a crime and sin. Reverend Dr Lionel Louw says the corrupt are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.

“The clergy are exposed directly to what happens in communities at the grassroots level and so they are very aware of the extent of suffering that occurs by virtue of resources that should have been sent to communities in order to improve services, and more particularly during this COVID season when people were actually dying we have had people doing corruption, enriching themselves”

South African Council of Churches are protesting under the banner “Corruption is not our heritage”:

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has likened PPE-related corruption to genocide.

“PPE corruption is genocidal, corruption is greed and we want to say no to corruption and those who are corrupt and know they have been caught, deserve to go to jail, but that would not be enough to deter corruption. We are also saying a mechanism and independent body from the executive that can be dedicated to investigating and dealing with corruption is urgent”

Nine investigations into alleged irregular PPE procurement processes are currently under way in the Western Cape.

SIU investigations

The SIU is investigating hundreds of companies across the country.

The probe includes alleged pricing collusion between suppliers and a check on whether proper procurement processes had been followed.

Among the cases on the SIU’s radar is the R125 million contract allegedly awarded to Thandisizwe Diko, the husband of Khusela Diko, the president’s spokesperson. Others include the R10 million Eastern Cape medical scooter project.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago says in some cases they’ve already opened criminal cases.

Kganyago says, “In Gauteng, there is only one contract that is getting a lot of attention, that is the one for Royal Bhaca. But we are in Gauteng alone, investigating over 160 companies therefore this is just one of the 160 companies that we are dealing with.”