All Covid-19 service contracts that were awarded by the Gauteng Department of Health will be included in the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) investigations. Public members are urged to come up with any suspicious contracts or business dealings including the controversial R124 million personal protective equipment (PPE) tender that was awarded to Royal Bhaca Projects – a company with deep connections within the ANC.
Many other companies and organizations which have inappropriately and illegally gained millions from this crisis must be investigated. This is why all contracts awarded by the Gauteng Department of Health are to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.
There are many companies with no track record in supplying medical supplies; which were established weeks before being awarded multi-million contracts; with direct ties with political office bearers which must be investigated.
The ramp looting of state resources cannot be a something that is retrospectively investigated. Those who steal public money or inappropriately obtain government contracts must be stopped in their tracks, says SIU.
The issue of Gauteng contracts goes far beyond what has been reported. There are plenty of other companies with similar ties to politicians which must be investigated. It is clear that despite the fact that legislation is unambiguous about members of the executive being involved in the procurement processes of their departments, there are companies connected to them and their family members being awarded contracts under the veil of secrecy.
It is unconscionable that there are vultures who are standing by and looting public coffers while there are patients in parts of this country who are fighting each other for oxygen tanks and healthcare workers who are without PPE.
This disgusting trend in our country can only be stopped when law enforcement agencies are empowered to act without fear or favour and prosecute the politically connected elite.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation that allows the SIU to investigate misuse of COVID-19. The SIU is now probing 90 companies and deals believed to be worth more than R2.2 billion involving the purchase of person protective equipment in the Gauteng Department of Health alone, the Sunday Times reported yesterday.
If the SIU finds evidence that a criminal offence has been committed, it is obliged to refer such evidence to the prosecuting authority. It is also empowered to institute civil proceedings for the recovery of any damages or losses incurred by the state.