A total of more than R551 million linked to Covid-19 PPE corruption needs to be recovered following the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) finalised probe into 5476 state contracts valued at more than R14 billion for the procurement of personal protective equipment during the first few months of the pandemic.

This is according to the SIU’s report on the widespread corruption that was released to the public this morning after being authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

According to the report, over R32 million rand in cash and assets have been recovered from suppliers so far while the investigation prevented the potential loss of R114.2 million rand and led to the setting aside of contracts worth R170.4 million.

The SIU says of the 5467 contracts awarded to more than 3000 service providers, 2800 were found to be irregular. The report published on the Presidency’s website contains the names of all the suppliers and individuals into which investigations have been completed as well as the findings and recommended action.

Forty-five matters, constituting a combined value of R2.1 billion, have been enrolled with the Special Tribunal on Corruption, Fraud and Illicit Money Flows. The Special Tribunal has a statutory mandate to recover public funds syphoned from the fiscus through corruption, fraud and illicit money flows, and engages in civil action that is more flexible and less time-consuming than adversarial.

The SIU also made:

 224 referrals for disciplinary action against officials in government departments or entities.

386 referrals to the National Prosecuting Authority, as well as three referrals for Executive Action, and  

330 referrals for Administrative Action, which includes blacklisting.

“The final report details matters referred by the SIU to the National Prosecuting Authority, departments and entities in the public sector and other parties, who will finalise the process of bringing wrongdoers to book and addressing weaknesses identified by the SIU investigation,” the Presidency said in a statement.

Its release follows the President’s authorisation on 23 July 2020 of the SIU probe into allegations relating to the misuse of COVID-19 funds across all spheres of government.

The report, however, does not include details of ongoing investigations into allegations received by the SIU after the timeline set for matters to be included in the final report.

The SIU expects the outstanding matters to be completed between March and April this year, before the submission of a supplementary report to the President at the end of June 2022.

 

To read the full report, go to: https://www.thepresidency.gov.za/content/final-consolidated-report-proclamation-r23-2020-122021-excluding-ongoing-matters