National Treasury says it will institute a process to determine the validity of allegations made by former cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi that its chief procurement officer received suspicious large sums of money.
A statement released by the department on Wednesday said it would take “appropriate steps” to investigate the claims by Manyi’s Decolonisation Foundation, that they were in possession of a dossier that shows monies had been deposited into the bank account of chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown.
Manyi at the end of August levelled allegations of corruption and maladministration against several high-profile South Africans, including former finance ministers Trevor Manuel, Nhlanhla Nene and incumbent minister Pravin Gordhan. He says he has forwarded the dossier against Brown to the police priority crime fighting unit, the Hawks, for investigation.
“If you have an officer of government that is involved with a procurement function, and you hear all kinds of monies are going into his account that exceed a million – and he is supposed to be a salaried person – the question is, where do these deposits come from?” asked Manyi in an interview with the SABC last week.
He said the Decolonisation Foundation was not making any allegations but doing the responsible thing by handing the dossier to law enforcement authorities. However, Treasury said its process required that those in possession of relevant information must provide it.
Treasury also said it viewed accusations against Brown or any other officer in a serious light and was committed to act on any forms of impropriety in ensuring a clean procurement system in government.
“National Treasury hopes that Mr Manyi is raising this matter in good faith and in accordance with laws like The Protection of Personal Information Act. We also note that in reporting this matter to the law enforcement authorities, he at the same time saw it fit to go public with information that has not been tested and by doing so may be implicating an innocent person.”
It said it hoped that was not a deliberate attempt by Manyi to “sow seeds of suspicion” on the integrity of the department, especially since Brown “has a long standing record of serving the public service with great dedication”.
As chief procurement officer, Brown has been leading a probe by Treasury into government tenders above R10 million and clamping down on irregularities in procurement processes.
In June last year Treasury said under his leadership they had made “tremendous progress” in ensuring government got value for money it was spending and reduced wastages. It also said this was to ensure “South Africa’s procurement system is one that is transparent and enables government to realise value-for-money, in line with section 217 of the Constitution.”
CORRUPTION is a cancer that must be cut out.
There must be no holy cows.
Media must NOT protect its friends.
I WILL do my part with vigour.
— Mzwanele Manyi (@MzwaneleManyi) October 6, 2016