It takes up to 4 years for SIU to complete & present report, MPs told

SIU Head Andy Mothibi and his team on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on some of their cases.

Special Investigating Unit. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - It takes an average of three to four years for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to complete a report and present it to the president, Members of Parliament (MPs) have been told.

The SIU investigates corruption, malpractice and maladministration in government and state entities.

Although the agency has the power to issue subpoenas and interrogate witnesses, it falls short on ensuring recommendations are enforced once probes are completed.

SIU head Andy Mothibi and his team on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on some of their cases.

ANC MP Ezekiel Kekana asked about high-profile investigations.

“I heard you earlier when you said the turnaround time was three to four years. But we cannot investigate longer than this. We need finality, particularly on these high-profile cases.”

Mothibi responded: “If we provide that to the committee, in camera so to speak, then that should suffice. But we can consider that.”

MPs pressed Mothibi on whether his agency was adequately staffed.

With just three forensic accountants on board, he conceded they need to improve capacity.

Since July, President Jacob Zuma signed proclamations authorising the SIU to investigate the Life Esidimeni tragedy and dodgy contracts at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Mothibi says the agency is hoping to submit a report on the Esidimeni case as quickly as possible.

More than 100 mentally ill patients died last year after they were transferred by the Gauteng Health Department from a private facility to various NGOs across the province due to cost-cutting.

Mothibi was asked by DA MP Tim Brauteseth for an update.

“A week or two ago, we also met with the political head – MEC responsible – taking her through our approach and we’ve already met with various stakeholders, including the Health Ombuds.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)