The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is pleading with state officials to stop looting public funds. This follows the release of a progress report on Friday on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) corruption.
The unit revealed that it’s investigating contracts worth over R13 billion.
In the report, the SIU also found that there was political pressure in the procurement of PPEs. It has so far, made 38 referrals to the NPA for criminal prosecution.
SIU appalled by level of PPE corruption as 25 government officials face probe:
Among those implicated is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko.
The Unit has vowed that all public officials implicated in corruption over PPE tenders will be punished and face criminal prosecution.
SIU Head advocate Andy Mothibi has appealed to those in positions of power to be responsible.
“I appeal to all public servants and to those in position on power and responsibility; to serve the people of South Africa with integrity and pride.”
Senior government officials investigated for fraud and corruption:
EFF welcomes SIU report
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has welcomed the SIU investigation into the procurement of PPE amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The party says politicians and public officials used a pandemic that threatened lives and looted resources that were needed to fight the pandemic.
The party says the money was looted under the watch of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The EFF is once again vindicated as the report by the SIU shows that Cyril Ramaphosa promises that he will make sure that no COVID-19 relief money will be stolen under his watch was empty speech. Officials and politicians deployed in government, in particular provincial departments, do not take him and his administration seriously. Even when he promised severe consequences for theft of COVID-19 relief budget, they simply continued to steal.”
The party also says the looting has exposed the weakness in the system of the Ramaphosa government, which has done nothing to protect the country from corruption and looting.
“He did not exercise checks and balances within the procurement system. Above all, he ignored all the signs that corruption was looming with regards to the COVID19 response. In essence, he was an absentee, useless leader whose authority was trumped with impunity by his own administration.”
SIU report on PPE corruption:
Diko and Masuku’s disciplinary hearing
The disciplinary hearing of former Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and Presidential spokesperson Diko resumes on Saturday. The disciplinary hearing comes after the two were allegedly involved in a scandal related to the procurement of PPE in the province.
ANC Gauteng secretary-general Jacob Khawe has been leading the party’s investigations into the two members of the Provincial Executive Committee.
Masuku, his wife Loyiso, and Diko were hauled before the party’s integrity commission in July 2020, over a multi-million-rand tender that the provincial Health Department had given Diko’s husband. Masuku has been replaced as Health MEC while Diko is on special leave.
Awarding of a tender to Khusela Diko’s husband under the spotlight:
Meanwhile, The SIU has raised concern that Diko has failed to declare her financial interests.
While the SIU has found no evidence so far directly linking her to the corrupt PPE deal, SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi says the unit hopes the Presidency will take necessary action.
“The information that has been relayed to SIU is that the Presidency is taking steps, so the steps that are being taken are to ensure that disciplinary action receives attention. As I speak currently, I do not have the details of where that action is, but I have been assured that the relevant action will be taken.”