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SIU promises serious consequences for those caught in COVID-19 tender corruption

Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Advocate Andy Mothibi briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on the agency’s investigations into contracts and their terms of reference.

SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Wednesday promised serious consequences for those implicated in COVID-19 corruption.

Advocate Andy Mothibi briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on the agency’s investigations into contracts and their terms of reference.

The SIU is probing hundreds of contracts amounting to over R5 billion. The unit’s investigations did not only involve personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts but also included services related to catering and flights.

One contract under investigation in the Eastern Cape involved the leasing of 55,000 tablets for e-Learning, which was reported to be worth R400 million.

Another related to the abuse of petrol cards for COVID-19 related travel.

Mothibi said that he wanted cases to be speedily concluded and those implicated dealt with.

“For example, we have seen really serious collaboration with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, we’ve been able to freeze bank accounts where evidence demonstrates that there has been possible criminality,” Mothibi said.

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa warned the SIU against moving slowly.

“The slow pace of consequence management and successful prosecutions is in it itself an enabler to the continuation of corrupt practices,” Hlengwa said.

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