'Arrest to prosecute', says Mabuyane on Covid-19 corruption in the Eastern Cape

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Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.
  • Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane says they are committed to rooting out Covid-19 corruption.
  • He says the SIU are in the province and will be compiling an investigation for their implementation.
  • He also says Covid-19 hospital admissions are on the decline.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane on Tuesday said those involved in Covid-19 corruption must face the full might of the law.

He also said that investigating agencies should arrest to prosecute, and not arrest to investigate.

"We have requested law enforcement agencies to arrest to prosecute, not arrest to investigate. This creates a dark cloud which makes people feel there is something going on that is not right. If you arrive at the point of arresting, arrest to prosecute, so you don't wait months and months to investigate."

He was speaking during a Covid-19 update in the province, where numbers have slowly begun to decline. 

Mabuyane said the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was "indeed in the province".

"We are waiting for the SIU to give us final reports in areas they are [investigating], therefore we cannot comment on something we do not have. We are waiting in anticipation; ours is to implement that report, which we will do without fear or favour," he said.

He said lifestyle audits were being undertaken.

"All MECs have signed letters of consent and asked the responsible government agency responsible to look at that."

ALSO READ | Eastern Cape urged not to be complacent as Covid-19 cases show slight decline

Mabuyane said those in public office had to know they could not use the government for their private enrichment.

Whatever you do, you will be answerable to the people of this country. We appealing to everyone, do not do something for yourself or your friends. Do something that will impact the people.

But, he added, proper investigations had to be done.

"We will not jump around throwing tantrums and following perceived corruption. A due process must be followed. This [SIU investigation] is due diligence we have committed to. When there is something to answer for, you must open up your heart and mind and answer. It is meant for public purse."   

Mabuyane said he would tackle corruption head on.

"We are not going to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to corruption. We are going to face it."

Covid-19 details

Giving information on Covid-19 in the province, Mabuyane said reports by some media houses that there were no spare beds in East London hospitals "is factually incorrect and false".

"Tied to the availability of beds is the efficient supply of oxygen in our hospitals, which is essential for Covid-19 patients. Afrox will meet oxygen demands of our hospitals. Hospitals are actively monitoring the supply side of oxygen."

He said there was a marked decrease in cases.

"The average daily admissions have decreased by 46.6% from 204 admissions on 14 December to 109 on 21 December.

"We are now seeing less admission of patients than we did on 10 December."

He said the number of patients admitted in both public and private hospitals in the province is 1 795; with public hospitals accounting for the majority of 1 211 people admitted and private hospitals with 584 patients admitted for Covid-19.

Funerals are super-spreaders

He also made an appeal "once again to our people to bury their loved ones within 72 hours like we did during the first wave".

"Funerals are one of the super-spreaders of Covid-19 infections. Most people go to funerals and, days after, they get sick and most do not survive. That is how severe infections at funerals are. Families and reverends must conclude burials in strictly two hours."

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