Gauteng takes disciplinary, civil action against officials over PPE wrongdoing
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, says 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 government response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the province.
“Details will be announced next week, once all due legal processes have been concluded,” Makhura said.
He reiterated his stance that those involved in Covid-19 corruption and malfeasance — whether they were public officials, public servants or business people — must be brought to justice.
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 special leave. 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 of absence has been extended as they deal with the contents of a report on their conduct by the party’s integrity commission.
The ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) has decided against adopting the initial report by its integrity commission.
Vusi Mokoena, acting chief director of supply chain management at the provincial health department, was last week suspended for allegedly breaching PPE procurement rules. He is to face disciplinary charges.
Mokoena was appointed in August after disciplinary charges against Thandi Pino, who was head of the unit.
The SIU said that more than 700 companies were being investigated for tender irregularities linked to PPE contracts awarded under the 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 this is the veil we are looking at, and that 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.
SIU officials recently raided the Cederberg municipal offices in Clanwilliam.