The Eastern Cape Health Department has apparently rebuffed an attempt by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to stop it from investigating alleged personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption cases worth about R150m.
A Daily Dispatch report says it understands that senior departmental officials, including MEC Sindiswa Gomba, received a letter from the SIU instructing them not to conduct any internal investigations. However, Gomba intends to continue.
Sources said that this instruction had not been “well received” by Gomba, who was “cleaning all the dirt” in her department. “After the scooters debacle and negative publicity the department has been receiving, when Gomba takes action and is trying to investigate this tender, she’s being gagged. No-one will really like that to happen,” the source within the Health Department said.
The SIU said they were doing this in the spirit of good governance. The letter was written and signed by SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi on 1 October. In the letter, Mothibi said it had come to their attention that Gomba’s office has instituted an internal investigation into the appointment of five companies for the provision, supply and/or delivery of PPE worth more than R150m. “I request your office not to conduct any internal investigations relating to any matter under investigation by the SIU,” read the letter from Mothibi.
However, Gomba, through her spokesperson Judy Ngoloyi, said they would be continuing with their investigations. “The MEC is mandated by the legislation to do oversight on her department and the investigation is part of that oversight. This investigation is going ahead, nothing will stop the MEC from doing her work, she’s responsible for her department,” Ngoloyi said.
Full Daily Dispatch report