The civic organisation, Sanco, in Limpopo, has criticised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) saying its investigation into the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) contracts in the province is selective and biased.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the proclamation for the SIU to investigate the procurement of PPE in the government and its entities in July last year.
In Limpopo, the SIU report has cleared the Health department of any wrongdoing. In the Sekhukhune district, four officials are facing disciplinary action and their matter referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for alleged fraud and corruption involving contracts worth R26 million awarded unlawfully.
Sanco’s Sipho Dikgale says the SIU has failed the people of Limpopo. Dikgale alleges that there has been corruption and looting in the awarding of PPE tenders in the Health Department.
The SIU report however indicates that the PPE contracts were awarded lawfully. Dikgale argues that the SIU has ignored evidence given to its investigating unit.
“Only two state entities were investigated contradicting the proclamation terms of reference and this has dampened our spirits and trust in the SIU and we view this as a drip in an ocean and it undermines the intelligence of our masses the department of health has been in the news for wrong reasons the procurement of PPE saga was exposed the SIU decided to turn a blind eye on this department we call for a full-scale investigation.”
The SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago however rebuffed Sanco’s allegations, saying that they are baseless and misleading. Kganyago says they won’t be deterred from doing their job.
“The SIU we’d like to reject Limpopo Sanco’s accusations of political selectivity in operations as baseless and misleading they’re saying in their statement that we have made a final report and it was not final it was very clear that we have only accounted for investigations that were finalised that accounts for 26% to the total number of investigations that we are doing and we are saying very clearly that we are not going to allow ourselves to be deterred or to be sidelined by such comments.”
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Lepelle Northern Water
The SIU has also obtained an interim order from the Special Tribunal to stop the former chief executive officer of Lepelle Northern Water, Phineas Legodi, from selling his immovable properties in Gauteng and Limpopo.
The Special Tribunal also interdicted the municipal pension funds from paying pension benefits to Legodi until civil proceedings against him are concluded.
Legodi is accused of fraud and corruption in the more than two billion rand water project in the Giyani area.
Kganyago explains, “The SIU has successfully lodged civil litigation in the Special Tribunal to interdict and restrain the former Lepelle Northern Water chief executive officer from disposing the four immovable properties that he owns pending the legal action that we are taking in the Special Tribunal and the investigations to that effect are being finalised and the matter will be heard in the Special Tribunal soon.”
The spokesperson of the Special Tribunal, Advocate Selby Makgotho, says that Legodi is not allowed to sell his immovable properties until their civil proceedings against him are concluded.
“In the interim order sought by the Special Investigating Unit on an urgent basis, the Special Tribunal interdicted and restrained the municipal union retirement pension fund from releasing Mr Legodi’s pension benefits pending the outcome of the actions to be instituted in the Special Tribunal within 30 days. Thereof, it was held that Mr Legodi is interdicted and restrained from disposing of any of his properties until a final determination is made in the main civil proceedings action launched by the Special Investigating Unit.”
The SIU wants Legodi to be held liable for the alleged fraud and corruption in the Giyani water project. Legodi and his five co-accused were arrested and granted bail ranging between one to R20 thousand.
SIU media briefing on investigations into alleged COVID-19 PPEs procurement corruption