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Gauteng govt prioritising probe into claims of COVID-19 tender irregularities

David Makhura has asked the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe allegations of irregular contracts for personal protective equipment awarded by the Gauteng Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng government said Premier David Makhura had prioritised allegations of tender processes being flouted by companies to get their hands on the COVID-19 relief funds.

Makhura has asked the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe allegations of irregular contracts for personal protective equipment awarded by the Gauteng Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 90 companies are under investigation in the province, with Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku also facing allegations of influencing procurement processes along with his wife. He has denied the allegations.

The Gauteng government said it could not give details about investigations at this stage as it was still waiting on the SIU to give a progress report.

Spokesperson Thabo Masebe said the SIU was not investigating Masuku but rather the entire procurement process.

“At the end of their investigation they will tell us what happened, what went wrong and who did wrong. They will also recommend any action they deem the premier should take.”

Masebe could not commit to any timelines as to when the SIU was expected to give Makhura an update on its investigation.

It’s also not clear how long it will take the unit to investigate 90 companies and draft a report.

Meanwhile, Masuku claimed he was not involved in any decisions regarding the awarding of contracts within the department, which he said rested entirely with the supply chain management function in the finance department.

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