President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has signed a proclamation authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to immediately probe the procurement of goods including Personal Protective Equipment during the national state of disaster.

He says 36 corruption and related cases are at various stages of investigation or prosecution during the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

Ramaphosa says nine state institutions, including police, the SIU and the State Security Agency have been roped in to probe such matters, which include the distribution of food parcels and social relief grants.

Speaking in a televised address to the national on Thursday night, Ramaphosa said those involved should be prosecuted and all stolen monies recovered.

He says, “This empowers the SIU to probe any allegation relating to the misuse of COVID-19 funds across the country. If the SIU finds evidences of any criminal offence, it is obliged or will be obliged to refer such evidence to the prosecuting authorities. It is also empowered to institute civil proceedings for the recovery of any damages or losses inquired by the state.”

In the video below, Ramaphosa addresses the nation:

Tender corruption

This month, the Eastern Cape’s O.R Tambo district municipality is accused of spending millions on the supply of non-existent bulk water and a door-to-door virus awareness campaign.

SABC reporter, Nhlanhla Kgathlane gives more details:

In June, the Education Union of South Africa called for an independent forensic investigation into alleged looting of COVID-19 funds within the Department of Basic Education. The union alleges that Basic Education procured 3 500 water tanks for R600 million.

In the video below, EUSA calls for the sacking of Basic Minister Angie Motshekga:

In April, the SIU said it was investigating an information technology tender that the Gauteng e-Government Department allegedly awarded irregularly.

In the video below, SIU Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago speaks about the R30 million tender.