North West Premier Job Mokgoro says his administration will fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies on allegations of fraud and corruption in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The SIU is probing three provincial departments and two municipalities.

Mokgoro made this commitment after tabling the province’s COVID-19 procurement expenditure report in Mahikeng. Over 200 companies are reported to have been awarded PPE tenders. However, a number of them are currently being investigated by the SIU.

Premier Mokgoro says two municipalities under investigation include the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in Mahikeng and the JB Marks Local Municipality in Potchefstroom.

“Government is aware of the reports that are in the public domain regarding COVID-19 expenditure in particular in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District and JB Marks Local Municipality. The expenditure matters relating to the two municipalities are currently with the law enforcement agencies and we are encouraged about the manner in which the law enforcement agencies are dealing with the matters.”

Internal audit

Mokgoro further says an internal audit of provincial departments is also under way.

“The audits focus among others on whether departments are assessed or managed the risk with regard to this expenditure and whether the prescribed procurement processes were followed, whether prices paid are market-related and in accordance with price determinations and whether the quality of goods received are compliant with prescribed standards. Where there are transgressions, necessary consequence actions will be taken and cooperation will be provided to law enforcement agencies.”

No stone to be left unturned

Spokesperson for the Special Investigating Unit Kaizer Kganyago says no stone will be left unturned.

“At the end of every investigation, we have three outcomes. One is that where we are able to set aside contracts and that one we’ve got control over as the SIU. The second outcome is the one of criminality.  Sometimes when we do an investigation we find criminality, in such a case we then refer that to the NPA for prosecution with the evidence. The last outcome will be disciplinary.”

Members of the public have weighed in on this matter.

“ I only want those people implicated to be investigated so that justice can prevail.”

The Special Investigating Unit says a preliminary report will be given to the President this on all investigations conducted.

What some public officials have said about COVID-19 corruption: