The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has obtained a interdict from the Special Tribunal ordering the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) to not pay pension benefits due to former Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development chief financial officer Jacob Hlatshwayo.
This follows the SIU’s investigation into alleged irregular awarding of a personal protective equipment (PPE) contract to a company by the department. During the investigation, the SIU said it identified officials, including Hlatshwayo, to be involved in the alleged irregularities.
The SIU was authorised to look into the transaction by the Presidential Proclamation R23 of 2020, which paved the way for the unit to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice and maladministration in awarding PPE contracts by government institutions.
COVID-19 PPE tender: The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has successfully petitioned the Special Tribunal to interdict Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) from paying pension benefits due to Jacob Hlatshwayo. pic.twitter.com/PrdPpkuKeE
— Special Investigating Unit (SIU) (@RSASIU) January 11, 2021
Hlatshwayo and other respondents now have until 1 February to argue why the order should not be made final.
Head of the SIU, advocate Andy Mothibi, said: “The SIU will pursue civil litigation against any official if there is an indication that they have caused damage to the public funds.”
In December last year, the Special Tribunal ruled in favour of the SIU after the investigating unit petitioned to have the pension benefits of former JB Marks Municipality supply chain manager, Modiko Thabang Philipine Selemane, frozen over alleged unlawful conduct in PPE procurement.