SIU investigating 650 companies over PPE contracts worth R7.5 bln

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Over 650 companies across the country are being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) contracts worth more than R7.5 billion.

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.”

Gauteng Health officials linked to PPE corruption to face criminal charges

Gauteng Premier David Makhura wants those implicated in the alleged Personal Personal Equipment (PPE) corruption to be sent to jail and the stolen monies recovered.

Makhura was responding to questions from members of the Gauteng Legislature during a virtual sitting of the House.

Two Gauteng Health Department officials believed to be at the centre of the alleged PPE corruption scandal have been identified by the SIU.

One official resigned and another one has been suspended. It is alleged that the pair were behind the irregular awarding of PPE contracts.

Makhura says Gauteng has not had the scale of corruption as the one involving PPE. “This does not seem like something that just happened, it seems like it was a proper plan designed to ensure that rules are not followed and as quickly as possible people make a quick buck. We want the money recovered. These people must go to jail. The money must be recovered.”

Recently the provincial government published a list of companies that have been contracted to provide goods and services since April 2020. The list will be released on a monthly basis.

Ramaphosa calls for thorough investigations into COVID-19 corruption

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa last month said government will soon be equipped with all the necessary resources to make sure that the monies stolen through COVID-19 PPE tenders are recovered.

Ramaphosa told a virtual media briefing earlier the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, that corruption will not be tolerated.

He said law enforcement agencies will leave no stone unturned in making sure that the procurement processes have been followed to the tee.

“The NEC notes progress on the measures put in place to deal with corruption-related to COVID-19, including recouping illegally acquired funds. Law enforcement agencies must leave no stone unturned, repeat no stone unturned in dealing with this matter,” said Ramaphosa.

ANC NEC media briefing

ANC members charged with corruption will be asked to resign

The NEC has endorsed the letter written by Ramaphosa last week, denouncing any acts of corruption by officials deployed in government.

Ramaphosa said the ANC will not tolerate any forms of corruption.

ANC cadres, who are formally charged with corruption, will be asked by the party to resign from their positions, immediately.

Ramaphosa said the NEC decided that corrupt cadres of the ANC will not be allowed space to commit such crimes under the watch of the party.

He said even those who are alleged to have been involved in corruption will be called by the Integrity Commission of the ANC to come and explain and if they fail they shall be suspended.

“Cadres of the ANC, who are reported to be involved in corrupt and other serious criminal practices, must go to the Integrity Commission and explain themselves. Those who don’t give an acceptable explanation may be suspended. The NEC also decided that cadres who are convicted of corruption and other serious crimes must resign from leadership positions.”