President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a Cabinet committee of six ministers to investigate allegations of corruption of all procurement, including the personal protective equipment (PPE) sourced to contain and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a strongly-worded letter to his Cabinet ministers, the President promised to make the lists of the names of companies and individuals involved public.
“The committee will prepare a comprehensive report and I intend to release this information publicly,” he wrote.
In the letter to the Ministers following Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Ramaphosa said he had appointed Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to the committee which will probe graft pertaining to the procurement of PPEs and other items related to the Covid-19 at all government departments.
Political analysts criticised Ramaphosa for not being firm on corruption. One expert said the appointment of the committee did not change the fact that the Ramaphosa’s planning and monitoring section failed to put early warning systems to detect corruption to protect the abuse of the R500 billion emergency stimulus for Covid-19.
“How can ANC Gauteng PEC members loot so much money in the tenders. How did they pass through the ‘eye of the needle’ policy of the ANC. To me between [Jacob] Zuma and Cyril, they are cut from the same cloth, they are indecisive.
“There was no plan to protect the R500 billion stimulus package for Covid-19, there was no early warning system in place and no plan to circumvent corruption. What did Ramaphosa do to circumvent corruption? The Covid-19 has exposed the lack of co-ordination and decisiveness of Cyril,” he said.
“If our democracy was normal, she would be out, but our democracy is not as normal,” he said.
Ramaphosa was needed to replace Zuma and stabilise the country and the ANC, which he succeeded to do. There was a great need to transition the country from the political chaos and corruption and restore decorum and dignity in governance, but he had proven to be not different to Zuma.
“Today if you compare the PPE scandal under Ramaphosa and the corruption that happened under Zuma, it make him not different from JZ. Someone should account for the R500 billion to say how it was spent,” he said.