Gauteng Premier David Makhura has announced that the State Security Agency will be doing lifestyle audits on all members of his provincial government, including himself.
“As part of the commitment to clean governance in Gauteng, I committed in my state of the province address last year that we would do lifestyle audits of all members of the executive council – myself and the 10 MECs,” he said.
In his weekly briefing, Makhura also announced that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had identified two officials in the Gauteng department of health alleged to be at the centre of personal protective equipment tender corruption in the province.
Makhura said one of the officials had resigned and criminal charges would be pursued against him, while the other had been suspended.
The head of the health department had initiated disciplinary action against the implicated official who was still employed by the department.
“The SIU is making headway in the investigation concerning Covid-19 procurement in Gauteng. It’s been able to identify a need to open criminal cases based on the evidence of the work that it’s done so far,” said Makhura.
He said the two officials had allegedly been central to what he called “large-scale grand corruption”.
He said his administration was ready to act against criminals in its ranks, and that the SIU would also be pursuing companies implicated in corruption in the health department.
“As the SIU investigation continues, we’ll be giving you an update every week when we get an update ourselves. We’ll be doing that because it’s about safeguarding the resources that are crucial for the battle against Covid-19.”
This comes amid allegations of tender irregularities at the provincial department of health, which have implicated MEC Bandile Masuku.
Addressing the media on Friday, Makhura said that, since the start of his second term last year, his government had been thinking about the right state institution to undertake lifestyle audits of MECs.
“It took a while to implement this resolution because we were engaging different state institutions, [deciding] which one would be able to do that. I’m glad to tell you that, from next week, the State Security Agency will be doing these lifestyle audits in the Gauteng provincial government,” said Makhura.
He added that, for six years, his government had applied an open tender system that had worked well – until this year.
“The hyenas – the thieves – were at the door. Once Covid-19 happened, the open tender system wasn’t implemented. The hyenas attacked and brought great disrepute to our government,” he said.
Makhura said the lifestyle audits were part of his effort to fight corruption and were intended to ensure that no one in his cabinet was living beyond their means.