Gauteng taking disciplinary steps over Covid-19 graft
Irregularities relating to PPE procurement and tenders are being investigated by the SIU, says premier David Makhura
Gauteng has already initiated disciplinary steps and civil action against senior government officials implicated in wrongdoing in line with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) progress report, according to premier David Makhura.
Makhura said his government received a progress report from the SIU on September 22 about the ongoing investigation into irregularities in the procurement of goods and services related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the province.
“Details will be announced next week, once all due legal processes have been concluded,” Makhura said.
The provincial government is facing a R2bn personal protective equipment (PPE) scandal, which led to health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, being placed on leave to allow for investigations.
Masuku’s wife, Loyiso, a member of Johannesburg’s mayoral committee, has also stepped aside until the ANC takes a decision about her future. Their leave has been extended as they would have to deal with the contents of a report on their conduct by the party’s integrity commission.
The ANC provincial executive committee has decided against adopting the initial report by its integrity commission.
Last week, Vusi Mokoena, acting chief director of supply chain management at the provincial health department, was suspended for allegedly breaching PPE procurement rules.
The SIU said that more than 700 companies are being investigated for tender irregularities linked to PPE contracts awarded under the national government’s R500bn Covid-19 relief scheme.
These contracts amount to more than R7.5bn. In Gauteng, the SIU is investigating more than 160 companies. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “We’ve received a lot of allegations. We’re not saying all of that was illegally done, but ... [it] shows signs that things are really not the way they are supposed to be.”
Ramaphosa has promised that all monies stolen from the fund will be recovered.
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