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Mkhwebane tells senior govt officials their cooperation is not negotiable

She warns the failure to respond to questions and requests for information - could lead to serious consequences.

FILE: Mkhwebane said recently, efforts by her investigators to deal with COVID-19 related matters, including those of alleged irregular procurement of goods and services, had been met with resistance. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has reminded the executive and senior officials in provincial administrations that cooperating with her office's investigation was not optional.

She warned the failure to respond to questions and requests for information - could lead to serious consequences.

Mkhwebane said recently, efforts by her investigators to deal with COVID-19 related matters, including those of alleged irregular procurement of goods and services, had been met with resistance from members of the executive and senior government officials, including heads of department.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Public Protector said it had been inundated by reports of conduct and service failures during the pandemic.

The Public Protector said she was investigating many of these complaints along with claims of tender irregularities reported over the past few months when South Africa was placed on lockdown.

“We have been consistent in our call for the bureaucracy to exercise prudence when it comes to spending public funds on COVID-19-related goods and services. We have stressed that deviation from normal procurement processes is not a declaration of an open season to pillage.”

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