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Mabuza: Govt caught napping on COVID-19 corruption

Deputy President David Mabuza blamed government systems and controls and also cited the human factor for failing to detect rampant corruption linked to COVID-19 social relief and the procurement of protective equipment and supplies.

FILE: Deputy President David Mabuza responding to oral questions in the National Assembly in Cape Town on 17 October 2019. Picture: @DDMabuza/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President David Mabuza has admitted that the government was caught napping in failing to detect rampant corruption linked to COVID-19 social relief and the procurement of protective equipment and supplies.

Mabuza was answering MPs' questions during a hybrid sitting of the National Assembly.

This week, the Special Investigating Unit told Parliament that it was investigating contracts worth R10 billion, which was 67% or one-third of the total R15.6 billion the government had so far spent on combatting the pandemic and its fall out.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader the Reverend Kenneth Meshoe asked Deputy President David Mabuza why the government could not see the corruption that was unfolding right under people’s noses.

"I must agree that as government, I am sure we were caught napping."

Mabuza’s blamed government systems and controls, especially when it came to procurement.

“some of our systems, our procurement systems, leave much to be desired. that is why the president has called on all of us to try and revamp our procurement system. as we are speaking, we are dealing with our
procurement system – time to close all the loopholes that are there.”

Mabuza also cited the human factor.

"Human beings can always flout these systems because they are responsible for creating the very systems but in this case, we need to have checks and balances that will help us to detect corruption as early as possible."

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