SIU’s R3.3 bln in recoveries leaves SCOPA unimpressed

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The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) has heard that about R3.35 billion has been recovered in the past decade through investigations done by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). However, some committee members say this amount is insignificant compared to the figures exposed at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Out of the 245 proclamations that the SIU has investigated since its establishment in 2001, it has concluded 98 investigations. The bulk of the proclamations are from national departments and public entities and recoveries have been made. However, some MPs are not impressed.

“In the big picture it’s actually a very small amount of money given the extent of the Zondo exposure and report,” says DA MP Alf Lees MP.

The SIU says the establishment of the Special Tribunal five years ago, assisted in fast tracking recoveries. In the past it relied on applications in the High Court.

“I do want to concur in a scheme of contracts that are at High Court and those now are at the Special Tribunal at last count, they were almost at about R123 billion that those cases need to be processed so that there can be more recoveries in High Courts seen a slow pace of matters being executed there but we are slowly beginning to see progress,” says SIU Head Adv Andy Mothibi.

On COVID-19 procurement investigations, the SIU says more than 90 directors and nearly 300 companies have been restricted from doing business with government. And action will be taken against implicated officials.

“On the system that they are working on in terms of employees who have been to the disciplinary hearing the best thing is to make sure that if you are blacklisted you cannot be uploaded on the persal system,” says Minister in the Presidency  Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

Criminal referrals were also done, and 70 convictions have been handed down over the past three years.