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Businesses implicated in Gauteng's PPE scandal given 5 days to appeal SIU order

An order was granted on Thursday by the SIU’s Special Tribunal to freeze R38.7 million from almost 40 businesses.

Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng based companies and individuals whose bank accounts were frozen by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) after being implicated in the COVID-19 funds scandal, were given five days to appeal.

An order was granted on Thursday by the SIU’s Special Tribunal to freeze R38.7 million from almost 40 businesses.

The SIU identified Gauteng’s former CFO Kabelo Lehloenya and chief director for supply chain management, Thandy Pino, as the enablers of the controversial contracts that were entered into with the provincial Department of Health.

“In the papers before the Special Tribunal, Ledla Structural Development (Pty) Ltd was awarded a contract by the Gauteng Department of Health for the supply of COVID-19 items, which the Special Investigating Unit contends was unlawfully, irregularly and corruptly awarded, and at prices which were grossly inflated way in excess of market-related prices,” said the tribunal’s spokesperson Selby Makgotho in a statement on Friday.

“Ledla Structural Development (Pty) Ltd subsequently transferred a large portion of the proceeds it received into various banking accounts belonging to entities and individuals, which funds, the SIU contends in court papers, are liable to be forfeited to the state.”

The Special Tribunal also interdicted the department from making any further payments to the 40 companies implicated.

“The special tribunal also ordered that the Government Employee Pension Fund has been interdicted from paying the former CFO her pension fund pending the completion of investigation by the SIU,” Makgotho said.

He added that those affected could appeal before the order was made final on 6 October.

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