The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating allegations regarding the irregular procurement of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) with a contract value of R14.2bn by end-April, reports News24. This is close to half of the money spent by government on PPE procurement.
The figure was contained in the six-weekly report that the SIU submitted to President Cyril Ramaphosa on 30 April, SIU head Andy Mothibi told members of Parliament’s Justice & Correctional Services Committee. He said that the cases the SIU had finalised or those that were under investigation represented 94% of the total number of cases presented to it, with 6% still to be commenced.
New allegations are also coming forward. ‘We have made significant progress and impact,’ Mothibi said. SIU chief legal counsel Jerome Wells said that 69 cases with a contract value of just over R7bn had been adjudicated by end-April by the special tribunal, which was set up to fast-track the adjudication of corruption cases. With regards to PPE corruption, there were 15 matters worth R365 million.
Following the judgments in favour of the SIU, contracts for PPE were cancelled. The tribunal had handed down 13 preservation orders over a period of eight to 12 months and also two forfeiture orders totalling in excess of R44m. Bank accounts of officials where money was paid by service providers have been frozen.