The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has been granted a court order barring the Eastern Cape health department from making any payment relating to the controversial R10 million scooter project.

Provincial Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba and uperintendent General of the department Thobile Mbengashe were meant to appear before the Special Tribunal over the matter.

They however didn’t due to, what Mbengashe, termed as a misunderstanding.

He, nonetheless, said the department is willing to cooperate. Mbengashe has welcomed the court interdict, halting payment to Fabkomp until the SIU issues its final report with recommendations that will then inform the department’s position.

The matter relates to the procurement of 100 scooters aimed at transporting patients in rural areas to clinics and hospitals as the country battled to contain COVID-19.

The project hit a snag when some South African questioned the scooters’ suitability for their set purpose.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize later also came out, saying the scooters did not meet the basic criteria for patient transport as an ambulance. He added that his office was not consulted on the specifications before the scooters were procured.

The SIU has vowed to ensure that everything is done to protect the resourced of the state from any misuse.

In the video below, SIU will be asking for interdict not to proceed with scooters: