COVID-19 impacting heavily on law enforcement agencies, Scopa hears

The Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Tuesday briefed Parliament's finance watchdog Scopa about investigations into SOEs and private sector corruption.

FILE: Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to law enforcement agencies that are facing capacity challenges due to death and illness.

The Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Tuesday briefed Parliament's finance watchdog Scopa about investigations into SOEs and private sector corruption.

The heads of the various agencies also told Parliament about their challenges in cracking corruption cases.

The country’s law enforcement agencies have given a joint submission to Scopa, detailing progress in a number of investigations.

Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya said that these investigations faced a number of challenges, with a quarter of their workforce affected by COVID-19: “I must also indicate that the acting divisional commissioner was also hospitalised as a result of COVID. This has been a challenge which has been with us and 25% of our members have been affected by COVID.”

NPA head Shamila Batohi also told Scopa about the impact of COVID-19: “In the NPA we have been similarly affected with almost the same number (as the Hawks) in terms of percentage of staff affected. We have been engaging with the department of health to be essential services to be moved up in terms of vaccinations.”

The Presidency was also supposed to brief the committee on the Digital Vibes contract but had to excuse itself due to outstanding information.

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