Gauteng Premier David Makhura revealed on Thursday that Andile Gwebani, the deputy director-general of human resources and corporate services in the health department, had been suspended for his alleged involvement in the irregular personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders.
This decision was taken after a recommendation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) presented to Makhura last week Monday.
The premier receives a weekly investigation report from the unit and takes action when he is required to.
“I am satisfied with the progress that the SIU is making. Disciplinary action is underway as well as action by law enforcement. Each week they give us referrals. I am very interested to know if our officials have been implicated in wrong doing. I am interested if any of our colleagues benefited from [PPE] procurement,” the premier said.
Makhura was speaking at the weekly Gauteng briefing on Thursday morning.
On Wednesday he placed Professor Mkhululi Lukhele, the head of the department of health, under precautionary suspension.
“The SIU found that the head of department failed to exercise his responsibility in the awarding of contracts to certain companies for the procurement of goods and services in relation to the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The actions, or omission by the head of department may have resulted in the department incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” the statement read.
Lukhele will remain on suspension until the SIU investigations and disciplinary proceedings for misconduct are complete.
In addition, the premier said that the accounts of 20 more companies had been frozen, bringing the total to 61.
Makhura emphasized that the Gauteng government was investigating all sectors, including infrastructure, for those implicated in the PPE corruption.