‘No amount of renewal will fix this’ — Five reactions to the SIU report into PPE corruption
The DA has welcomed the release of the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report into government’s spending of Covid-19 funds, calling for law enforcement to swiftly prosecute those found guilty.
This week the SIU finalised investigations into 4,549 contracts for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). Investigations into 476 service providers are continuing.
The release of the report comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the SIU to probe allegations relating to the misuse of Covid-19 funds in July 2020.
The special unit found more than 2,800 contracts were irregular, implicating 1,217 service providers who inappropriately and illegally gained millions from the health crisis.
It made 386 referrals to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and three referrals for executive action.
The rand value of cash and assets to be recovered on the basis of the investigation is R551.5m. To date, R34m has been recovered.
Ramaphosa said the findings were unacceptable, but an important first step in government’s fight against corruption.
CADRES AND TENDERPRENEURS TOOK ADVANTAGE
Welcoming the report, DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the party will analyse the report with a fine-tooth comb.
She said it was likely the money to be recovered was more than R551.5m.
“This was money earmarked to procure PPE and other life-saving resources during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sadly and true to form, cadres and tenderpreneurs took advantage while vulnerable and ill people were struggling to survive the devastation of the pandemic,” said Gwarube.
“We welcome the fact that referrals have been made to the NPA and we call on them to swiftly prosecute those who are guilty without fear or favour.
“A strong message needs to be sent to those who seek to profit off and loot the state. The only way to secure SA’s future is to ensure the wheels of justice continue turning.”
On social media, many, including UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and the GOOD party’s Brett Herron, also weighed in on the report.
Here is what they had to say:
‘It is time for Batohi to raise her hand’
‘Accountability and consequence?’
Consequence management should include the political leaders who decided on the camp, & championed it as an acceptable solution, as well as officials who signed off on excessive hiring charges: City Manager & CFO.— Brett Herron 🇿🇦 (@brettherron) January 25, 2022
We also need to know whether @Our_DA or any official benefited.
‘No amount of renewal will fix this’
No amount of renewal will fix this. We need to overhaul the entire government and this process can only start once the ruling party is out of power.— Bubblebath (@jasonbently_) January 25, 2022
‘We cannot allow these rotten apples to remain in public service’
The SIU’s Report on Covid-19 procurement has shown how EC government officials colluded with suppliers.— DA Eastern Cape (@DAEasternCape) January 25, 2022
In the EC contracts valued at over R2,9 billion are under investigation. 23 cases are referred for disciplinary and executive action, and a further 34 referred to the NPA. pic.twitter.com/Lc0ZGW5FmP
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