Correctional services confirms SIU investigation, says it will 'act accordingly'

21 October 2020 - 13:24 By TimesLIVE
The SIU is investigating PPE procurement in the correctional services department after anonymous tip-offs about alleged corruption.
The SIU is investigating PPE procurement in the correctional services department after anonymous tip-offs about alleged corruption.
Image: Allan Swart/123RF

The correctional services department has confirmed it called in the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement within its ranks after receiving anonymous tip-offs about alleged corruption in the tender processes.

This comes after the SIU told parliament's' standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday that the CFO of the department was under investigation for allegedly awarding PPE tenders worth more than R50m to companies linked to his "friends and family members".

Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said while they considered the allegations of PPE corruption serious, it was "unfortunate" the SIU mentioned the department's CFO in parliament before the department had received a report on the matter.

This is Nxumalo's full statement:

"The department of correctional services (DCS) wants to highlight inaccuracies and omissions in  media reports on October 20, citing that the SIU started investigating the awarding of PPE tenders after receiving allegations of irregularities.

"We want to clarify that it was the DCS which called on the SIU to investigate PPE procurement in the department after receiving an anonymous allegation of corruption in this process.

The allegations made against the chief financial officer are serious, and the department had to urgently attend to the matter.
Singabakho Nxumalo

"The DCS reported the allegations to the SIU as part of its commitment to clean governance and to root out corruption and maladministration.

"The allegations made against the chief financial officer are serious, and the department had to urgently attend to the matter as such cases warrant sincere objectivity and conclusive investigation, hence the SIU was called upon as a competent agency to conduct such an investigation.

"The DCS is one of the institutions that was and still remains at the forefront in the fight against Covid-19, and needs all the necessary ammunition to fight this scourge. Procuring necessary PPE requires due diligence and adherence to all prescripts, hence the DCS requested the SIU to investigate if there were any irregularities in this process.

"We have made supply chain information available to the investigators and we remain available and willing to assist the process.

"It is imperative the SIU's due process be allowed to unfold so that allegations levelled against any official can be tested to determine if they have any substance. This will allow an open process wherein those mentioned or implicated can give an account on their role and deliverables.

"The DCS is awaiting the SIU report and will act accordingly as there is no room for corruption and malfeasance in our operations.

"It is unfortunate that an official’s name is mentioned before even receiving the report.

"Covid-19 continues to cause pain and disturbance in our operations and the department is not about to give up as it has a duty to protect those in its care."

TimesLIVE

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