SIU given green light for North West public works and roads investigation
President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate corruption, malpractice and maladministration in the North West department of public works and roads to recover financial losses.
The government gazette made the signing of the proclamation public saying that the SIU was authorised to look into transactions between January 1 2016 and March 12 2021.
The SIU said in a statement it was also authorised to look into transactions that took place after the date of the proclamation “which are relevant to, connected with, incidental or involve the same persons, entities or contracts investigated”.
The investigation would focus on the procurement contracting for works or services by or on behalf of the department relating to three areas.
The first was project management for the department’s transport infrastructure directorate.
The second was the rehabilitation of flood damaged road infrastructure in the North West.
The third was the installation of perimeter fencing at the Eagle Water Wildlife Resort on the banks of the Hartbeespoort Dam, where it is alleged that payments were made that were “not fair, equitable, transparent, competitive or cost-effective; or contrary to applicable legislation and instructions issued by the National Treasury or the relevant provincial treasury, and any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the department or the state”.
The proclamation also allows the SIU to investigate unlawful or improper conduct by the department’s employees or officials or any applicable service providers, or any other person or entity in relation to allegations made against them.
“The SIU will exercise all its legislative powers to subpoena, search and seize evidence, and interrogate witnesses under oath during the investigation,” reads the SIU statement.
The SIU is an independent forensic litigation agency established by former president Nelson Mandela in terms of the Special Investigating Unit and Special Tribunal Act in 1996 to “investigate serious malpractice, corruption, malfeasance and maladministration in relation to the administration of state institutions, state assets and public money as well as any conduct which may seriously harm the interest of the state and the public”.
Members of the public who wish to report fraud and corruption to the SIU can call their hotline on 0800-037-774 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.