The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it is concerned that some state institutions are not instituting disciplinary action against officials implicated in fraud and corruption in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).
SIU head Andy Mothibi on Wednesday morning singled out the Eastern Cape department of education and Amatola Water Board as among the culprits that have not taken action against officials the unit has made findings against.
“It really concerns us that these matters should be given the attention as speedily as we would expect,” Mothibi said.
He was briefing Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on the outcomes of various PPE investigations.
Diko disciplinary hearing
Mothibi said the SIU was satisfied that disciplinary proceedings against suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko would soon get under way.
He said Diko had requested to be given more time to get clarity about the allegations against her.
“The SIU, as we do with all other state institutions, has contacted the presidency and has been informed that the disciplinary proceedings against Mrs Diko will start soon and that she was given a further opportunity to seek clarity concerning the allegations made against her,” he said.
Diko and former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku were implicated in PPE corruption last year after a company belonging to her late husband, Thandisizwe Diko, was irregularly awarded a controversial R139 million PPE contract by the Gauteng health department.
Masuku and his wife, city of Johannesburg mayoral committee member Loyiso Masuku, are friends of the Dikos.
Diko is facing a disciplinary hearing for failing to declare her interests.
Mothibi said the SIU would continue to receive updates from the Presidency.
He said the provincial health department instituted disciplinary action against three senior managers and the SIU was awaiting the final decision on the hearings.
Following allegations of fraud and corruption involving the government’s PPE procurement, President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a proclamation for the SIU to investigate the claims.
Mothibi said a progress report was sent to Ramaphosa at the end of April outlining the SIU’s finalised investigations.
The unit has been investigating PPE contracts worth R14.2 billion.
As of 30 April 2021, there were 4,117 PPE contracts under investigation awarded to 2,251 service providers.
About 40% of these contracts have been finalised, 54% are being assessed and 6% are yet to commence.
Mothibi said the SIU was still continuing to receive reports of alleged corruption involving the procurement of PPE by state institutions. He said they wanted to conclude their investigations by August this year.
“It’s important chair, as we have said before, that we continue to get new reports of allegations of this maladministration and irregularities. And by the nature of our work, we cannot close out the new reports being made.
“But we would like to ensure that the significant part of these investigations or at least as of 30 April 2021, all of these investigations should be completed by the end of August,” he said.