WCED says SIU report made no findings of corruption, fraud against it

The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday said that the SIU made damning findings about contracts awarded by the department to Masiqhame Trading 1057 CC.

FILE: Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer. Picture: @DebbieSchafer/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report offered no findings of corruption, collusion or fraud against the department.

The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday said that the SIU made damning findings about contracts awarded by the department to Masiqhame Trading 1057 CC.

The ANC said that the first Western Cape Procurement Disclosure Report showed that Masiqhame benefited from numerous transactions to supply PPE amounting to over R111 million.

The party said that in all other reports, the company received the largest share of WCED contracts.

The ANC's Khalid Sayed said that they were not surprised that the SIU found that the awarding of a R54 million contract to supply cloth face masks by the WCED to be irregular.

"We raised these issues in 2020 already and the MEC dismissed our concerns. This is deeply concerning.

But MEC Debbie Schafer said that the finding was limited to the process followed in the procurement of cloth masks.

She said that a similar finding was made previously by the Auditor-General, which they disputed, as it did not take into account the timing of National Treasury's instructions.

"Nevertheless, because the SIU's report recommends disciplinary action against some senior officials, the WCED has referred the matter to the Department of the Premier's people management unit for advice on how to proceed to ensure that there can be no allegations of obstruction," Schafer said.

She said that they take the SIU report very seriously and now awaited the recommendations from the premier for further action, if any.