Medical negligence claims and Sassa spending come under SIU scrutiny

11 government departments, a municipality and two state agencies in spotlight

25 July 2022 - 15:02
subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now
President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed proclamations authorising the SIU to probe allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of 11 government departments, a municipality and two state agencies. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed proclamations authorising the SIU to probe allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of 11 government departments, a municipality and two state agencies. File photo.
Image: Olivier Le Moal

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is probing 11 government departments, a municipality in KwaZulu-Natal and two state agencies.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed five new proclamations authorising the SIU to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of the government departments, the Newcastle municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the SA Council of Educators (Sace).

The investigations are set to help recover any financial losses suffered by the state as a result of negligence or corruption.

“Government departments covered under the new proclamations include the national department of health, all provincial departments of health and the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport,” said the independent statutory body.

The SIU investigation of the national and provincial health departments will focus on unlawful or improper conduct by claimants or applicants with respect to medical negligence claims that were fraudulent, improper or unlawful by any person or entity that unduly benefited themselves or any other person.

“The SIU will also investigate any irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by institutions or the state.

“The probe will cover claims that took place between January 1 2013 and July 22 2022, the date of the proclamation, or which took place prior to January 1 2013 or after the date of publication of this proclamation, but is relevant to, connected with, incidental or ancillary to the matters investigated or involve the same persons, entities or contracts investigated,” it said.

The KwaZulu-Natal transport department will be investigated for serious maladministration, and causes of such maladministration which has led to the department incurring irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as identified by the auditor-general of SA (AGSA) in the AGSA final management report dated March 31 2019, and the AGSA final management report dated March 31 2021.

Employees at the provincial transport department will be investigated for alleged serious, improper or unlawful conduct, unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money, unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon state property, intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property, and offences referred to in parts or sections of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

The SIU will investigate five Sassa service provider contracts.

“This is an amendment to Proclamation R.37 of 2019. The SIU will seek to establish whether there was any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by Sassa or the state or any resulting loss or damages suffered by Sassa in five contracts.”

This includes:

  • the refurbishment of Sassa offices in the Eastern Cape region;
  • medical goods or services procured in the Gauteng region from April 1 2016 to September 30 2016;
  • services procured from Keyser Cleaning Services in the Eastern Cape region;,
  • procurements of blankets by the KZN Sassa office in April to September 30 2016; and
  • a cleaning tender.

The Newcastle municipality will be investigated for the procurement of or contracting for goods, works or services on behalf of the municipality and payments made in respect thereof in a manner that was not fair, competitive, transparent, equitable or cost-effective. It will also look into any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the municipality.

“The SIU will investigate maladministration in the affairs of the municipality in relation to contracts awarded to persons in the service of the state, contrary to the provisions of regulation 44 of the Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations dated May 30 2005.

“Payments made to fictitious employees, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred as a result of late payments made to Eskom and fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred as a result of late VAT and PAYE payments to the SA Revenue Service and salary payments made to former employees after they had left the employ of the municipality.”

The probe into Sace will focus on the procurement for and acquisition of the commercial property situated at Beacon Bay Drive, East London.

“The SIU probe will also focus on any alleged serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of Sace, improper or unlawful conduct by the employees or officials, unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property, unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon state property, intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property.”

In all the proclamations, the SIU will refer evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action.

TimesLIVE

Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month. 


subscribe Just R20 for the first month. Support independent journalism by subscribing to our digital news package.
Subscribe now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.