No free for all, all govt departments dealing with Covid funds must be probed – Dennis Bloem

Staff shortages and a lack of personal protective equipment have been blamed for the infection increases. AFP/File/RODGER BOSCH

The union rejects attempts by the ANC to ‘put the country to sleep by creating the illusion of tackling’ corruption.

Corruption related to Covid-19 is bigger than what we see and all departments dealing with Covid-19 funds must be critically probed, as millions have in some instances disappeared into ghost banking accounts, according to Congress of the People’s spokesperson Dennis Bloem.

The party urges Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to probe all provincial departments dealing with Covid-19, as there appeared to be alleged rampant corruption in several departments.

“We have no doubt that this Covid-19 rampant corruption is not only taking place in the health department.

“Departments such as social welfare, provincial-local government and provincial human settlements, water affairs, are among others. These departments must also open their books and publish all companies which have tendered for the shelters for homeless people.”

Bloem maintains the were questionable procedures after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster, as homeless people were removed from streets and placed in shelters, with millions spent without “proper procedures or oversight or accountability to parliamentary committees”.

“It was a free for all.

“We demand to know which companies got the contracts to supply water in informal settlements and rural areas with water challenges. Covid-19 related corruption is bigger than what we see. We have seen in the department of unemployment and labour when millions of rands were deposited in ghost banking accounts.”

The party calls on law enforcement to arrest all those blatantly stealing taxpayers money.

This comes as the National Union of Metal Workers in SA (Numsa) call for corruption to be tackled from all sides, amid allegations of corruption surrounding the ANC.

“We have been very consistent that without fighting this system of capitalism, with all its rotten and immoral effluvia, and instead, continuing to jump on replacing one individual who is perceived to be corrupt with another individual who is perceived to have been anointed by God with divine innocence, we will always find that the very proclaimed corruption-free individuals are sophisticated champions of corruption, and thugs in suits and expensive dresses.”

The unions said it was only a socialist agenda that can shift power relations in the country to ensure a non-racial, democratic country free from the cancer of corruption.

“Numsa is irritated, disgusted and dismayed by what has become the naked and open looting of billions of rands surrounding the personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders in all provinces, and the plundering of relief funds that are meant to cushion economically-depressed companies and the working class.”

Alarmed at the rate of serious allegations of corruption levelled against the Gauteng Province where names of politicians, government officials were mentioned, the union rejects attempts by the ANC to “put the country to sleep by creating the illusion of tackling” corruption.

“It is, therefore, our position that when allegations of corruption are levelled against politicians, government bureaucrats and officials, we reject and refuse that the ANC as the governing party can use its own Integrity Committee as a structure to deal with these allegations. This is nothing more than an attempt to give a free pass of corruption to its own deployees.”

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim says the union demands the ANC in addressing allegations of corruption surrounding the PPE tenders across all provinces to consult trade unions, civil society and business on the appointment of independent external individuals and institutions who must preside and probe all allegations.

Failure to do so may lead to the union picketing in what they threaten may be the mother of all strikes against corruption.

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