South Africa is fast moving to record 7,000 Covid-19 related deaths in the next few days as another 114 fatalities were recorded in Sunday’s daily statistics, bringing the official death toll to 6,769.
In a late night statement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, announced that the country now has 445,433 confirmed cases – an increase of 11,233 from Saturday.
“Regrettably we report 114 new COVID-19 related deaths: 7 from Eastern Cape, 29 from Gauteng, 12 from KwaZulu Natal, 30 from Western Cape, 34 from Limpopo and 2 from Northern Cape,” Mkhize’s said.
The total number of recoveries are 265,077, or 59,5% of the total number of infections recorded.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku, also issued a statement on Sunday, lambasting reports that he had been involved in procurement processes within his department.
“Following the emergency procurement processes undertaken since the declaration of the National State of Disaster by the President in mid-March 2020, I requested that the administration of the Department must observe good governance principles in the procurement process,” the statement read.
He said that he had formally requested a forensic audit into Covid-19 procurement and that the Gauteng Premier subsequently requested the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to undertake this investigation.
“The SIU investigation commenced in May 2020 and the Premier’s office will announce the findings as soon as they become available. As the originator of the process, I wholly support the SIU’s investigation. If evidence of corruption is found at the Gauteng Department of Health, action will be taken, and offenders prosecuted. Those found guilty of fraud and/or the misappropriation of funds at the Department, will face the full might of the law.”
Masuku added that he was neither involved, nor had any influence on, procurement processes and that contracts are awarded by the Supply Chain Management function in the Finance department.
“Throughout my career, I have always acted with utmost integrity and conviction. I strongly refute any suggestion that Covid-19 procurement is being used as a means to raise funds ahead of ANC conferences.
“As MEC for Health in Gauteng, I remain committed to ensuring that our comprehensive health response is focused on saving lives. I will do everything in my power to ensure that anyone found to be stealing money meant for COVID-19 relief; are identified and brought to book,” the MEC said.