'Any type of corruption is unacceptable': WHO boss scolds SA for Covid-19 corruption

24 August 2020 - 09:00 By Unathi Nkanjeni
The World Health Organisation's chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has criticised personal protective equipment corruption in SA.
The World Health Organisation's chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has criticised personal protective equipment corruption in SA.
Image: REUTERS

“It is criminal and it is murder. It has to stop.”

These are the words of World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption in SA.

Speaking during a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, over the weekend, Ghebreyesus said corruption related to supplies of PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic was unacceptable.

Ghebreyesus was asked about alleged PPE corruption in SA related to tender fraud worth billions.

SA’s Covid- 19 corruption scandals have been thrown into the international spotlight and have battered the country's image globally.

“Any type of corruption is unacceptable,” said Ghebreyesus.

“However, corruption related to PPE, for me it's actually murder. If health workers work without PPE, we're risking their lives and  the lives of the people they serve. It is murder and it has to stop.”

Accused number one

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC must confront the stark reality that it is now “accused number one” for corruption.

In a letter addressed to ANC members, Rampahosa called on members to make the unprecedented times the turning point in the fight against corruption, saying the movement and the country are facing one of the greatest challenges since democracy.

He reminded members of reflections during the party's 54th conference regarding corruption and how it robs South Africans.

Several senior ANC members have been accused of being involved in alleged PPE tender fraud.

“I am sure you are aware that across the nation there is a sense of anger and disillusionment at reports of corruption in our response to the coronavirus pandemic. This anger is understandable and justified,” said Ramaphosa.

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