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Ramaphosa appoints inter-ministerial committee to tackle PPE tender claims

This comes as senior officials within Ramaphosa's administration have been hit with allegations of looting funds that are meant for COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa interacting with communities across the nation through a virtual Presidential Imbizo on coronavirus. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a committee to deal with alleged corruption in all procurement of resources for the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes after mass criticism of the president’s handling of the tender fraud scandals that have emerged linking African National Congress (ANC) leaders to irregularly awarded contracts of personal protective equipment (PPE) among others.

The committee comprises of ministers in the Presidency, Finance, Police, Public Service and Administration, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and will have the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola as its chairperson.

President Ramaphosa has requested that all ministers and premiers provide all information including the names of companies and amounts of tenders and contracts that have been awarded by government departments and other entities during the COVID-19 national state of disaster period.

This week, Cosatu, the SACP and civil society organisations called on the president to act decisively against the corruption that has seen health workers on the frontlines of the pandemic working without necessary personal protective equipment.

The committee of ministers is expected to prepare a comprehensive report which Ramaphosa promises will be released to the public.

According to a Presidency statement, the decision reinforces Ramaphosa’s determination that there should be no theft, wastage and mismanagement of public funds as the country fights COVID-19.

The statement said that Cabinet's decision would support other measures including the proclamation signed in last month for the Special Investigating Unit to probe unlawful and improper conduct in government procurement.

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