Ramaphosa: SIU probing 932 COVID-19 corruption matters
President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he had so far received two interim reports from the SIU outlining the progress the unit had made adding that these reports would be made public once all necessary processes were completed and there was no risk of jeopardising ongoing investigations.
CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was currently investigating 932 matters related to COVID-19 corruption and malfeasance, while the South African Revenue Service (Sars) was looking at more than 300 cases involving a revenue loss of around R300 million.
Ramaphosa has been answering questions during a sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
He said that while the government was concerned about a rise in COVID-19 infections, rumours that the government was about to take the country back to a stricter level of lockdown were untrue.
The president said that he had so far received two interim reports from the SIU outlining the progress the unit had made. He said that these reports would be made public once all necessary processes were completed and there was no risk of jeopardising ongoing investigations.
"Sars has established a COVID-19 project team to investigate and audit cases as well. Some of its reportable outcomes highlight that as at the end of September, there were 307 cases with an estimated tax revenue loss of R300m. There are 139 companies referred for potential tax evasion investigation."
Ramaphosa said that the rise in commercial crime and COVID-19 procurement corruption meant that the establishment of specialised commercial crimes courts was being fast-tracked while existing ones were being strengthened.
He also hailed the work of the multi-law enforcement agency fusion centre, which allowed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the SIU, Sars, the Hawks and the Financial Intelligence Centre to share information and work together.
Ramaphosa said that this collaboration would help in the fight against all corruption, not just that linked to the pandemic.
WATCH: Ramaphosa answers questions in NCOP