SIU report on state's Covid-19 spending made public, over R500m marked for recovery

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President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Photo: GCIS
  • The SIU report into PPE corruption linked to the Covid-19 pandemic was released on Tuesday.
  • The unit found that 2 803 contracts of the 4 549 finalised investigations were irregular.
  • The Presidency says 45 matters, constituting a combined value of R2.1 billion, have been enrolled with the Special Tribunal on Corruption.

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into the state's spending on its response to the Covid-19 pandemic was made public on Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's office announced he had authorised that the final report on the SIU's probe into more than 5 400 government contracts be made available to the public.

The unit investigated 5 467 contracts, valued at R14.3 billion, awarded to 3 066 service providers.

Investigations linked to 4 549 contracts have been finalised, with 2 803 of those agreements found to have been irregular. This amounted to 62% of the finalised investigations being deemed irregular.

The Presidency said 45 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 has made the following referrals:

  • 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.
  • 330 referrals for administrative action, which includes blacklisting.

READ | Ramaphosa 'studying' SIU's PPE graft report

The SIU identified assets and money totalling R551.5 million that needed to be recovered on the basis of its probes. So far, assets and money totalling just over R34 million has been recovered.

In July 2020, Ramaphosa authorised the unit to investigate any allegations relating to the misuse of Covid-19 funds across all spheres of government. This followed several reports detailing alleged fraud and corruption.

The president said the SIU would refer any evidence of criminal activity to the National Prosecuting Authority.

"The report published today (Tuesday) 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 these matters, which are covered by the proclamation, to be completed between March and April 2022, before the submission of a supplementary report to the President at the end of June 2022," the statement read.

The Presidency said the "value of potential loss prevented by the investigation was R114.2 million, while contracts set aside amount to R170.4 million".

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