Parliament calls Mboweni, others to explain PPE purchases amid corruption claims

This follows weekend reports that anti-corruption investigators were probing dubious contracts involving more than R2 billion.

FILE: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s finance committees have decided to call Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Treasury officials to come and explain what is happening with the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).

This follows weekend reports that anti-corruption investigators were probing dubious contracts involving more than R2 billion.

It was also reported that the Special Investigating Unit is looking at R30 million in alleged irregular contracts in KwaZulu Natal and nearly R5 million spent on a COVID-19 awareness campaign in the Eastern Cape.

The committees want Mboweni and his officials to appear before them as early as next week.

Standing Committee on Finance chairperson Joe Maswanganyi noted the reports and the public outcry over the corruption allegations about PPE contracts.

“I can’t keep silent as a member of Parliament and as a chairperson of a standing committee responsible for finance when the public is outraged about what is happening.”

Maswanganyi said Parliament had a duty to hold the executive arm of government accountable and that the matter could not wait for the Auditor General to report back next year.

“We should call the Minister of Finance with his officials, probably together with the Department of Health, to come and appear before these two committees and explain to us what’s happening, what are we reading about, and how this process of PPE procurement started. Why this outrage and all this negative publicity? The public must be able to know from government, through Parliament, what is happening.”

Maswanganyi’s proposal received unanimous support.

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