102 companies in Gauteng being probed for COVID-19 looting, says SIU head

SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi on Thursday said the corruption was widespread and not only limited to Gauteng.

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JOHANNESBURG – The head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Advocate Andy Mothibi, on Thursday said that 102 companies were being investigated for corrupt COVID-19 fund tenders in Gauteng province alone.

Mothibi said the corruption was widespread and not only limited to Gauteng.

The dodgy tenders involving emergency purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE) were believed to be valued at R2.2 billion.

Mothibi said that the SIU would make sure those found guilty are held accountable.

“Already I’m satisfied with the way they’re progressing, and we should be able to give the president, as he expected, six-week reports with some of the evidential material,” Mothibi said.

The SIU head said that there were standards that government had to follow before awarding the tenders to companies.

“Standards that were put in place by the National Treasury once the state of disaster was declared, and we will be making findings per company looking at all those requirements,” he said.

Mothibi asked the public to trust the SUI to not only get to the bottom of the alleged corruption but also to recover the money.

“We would like to demonstrate to the public that we mean business. The public expectation is understandable because they want to see cases being prosecuted, even if we inform them that there are other avenues of civil litigation or disciplinary processes,” he said.

At the same time, the African National Congress (ANC) in the Gauteng is expected on Thursday to give an update after it held a special provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting to discuss the allegations of tender irregularities against two of its members - presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko and Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku.

Diko and her husband maintain that the contract was cancelled, and they never benefited from any money.

'It was an error in judgement’: King Madzikane, Diko respond to PPE scandal

Masuku has also denied the allegations levelled against him, saying he was not involved in procurement processes.

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