ANC in Parliament won't support call for ad hoc committee to investigate Covid-19 corruption

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ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina.
ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina.
Adrian de Kock
  • The ANC caucus in Parliament wants answers from Cabinet over rampant Covid-19 corruption in several government departments.
  • The caucus vowed to strengthen committees to deal with those implicated in corrupt activities.
  • ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina, however, said it wouldn't support calls for an ad hoc committee to deal with Covid-19 corruption.

The ANC's parliamentary caucus will not support the call for an ad hoc committee to investigate Covid-19 corruption - instead it's calling on committees to strengthen their oversight role.

Party chief whip Pemmy Majodina said Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu's first report, for the period ending 31 July, reflected "substantive transgressions" and flouting of the Public Finance Management Act regulations.

READ HERE | Three departments join hands to flush out public servants doing business with the state

Majodina said, starting this week, the caucus would begin engagements with Cabinet while ANC study groups would convene and prepare for the calling of both portfolio and select committees to take up the issues raised in the AG's report.

READ | Mabuza says NPA needs to be supported in fight against corruption

Majodina said:

It is the committees of Parliament who have the powers to effect oversight and recommend. In this context we will not support the call for any ad hoc committee when the committees of Parliament have the mandate and authority to do the work. Caucus calls upon the committees to strengthen their oversight and bring to each House a report recommending action where there is prima facie evidence of corrupt practices having taken place.

Earlier this month, Makwetu released damning findings on Covid-19 relief funding and personal protective equipment (PPE) tender processes.

Makwetu detailed how contracts in the R22.4 billion PPE budget had been misappropriated - he also found clear signs of overpricing, unfair processes and potential fraud in government procurement.

Majodina said: "The ANC caucus is dismayed by these damning findings and commends the AG for exposing these malpractices especially exposing, in the AG's words, captured as 'clear indicators of fraudulent activities' in the PPE procurement processes as well as of poor record keeping and an inability to co-ordinate and oversee multi-departmental agencies and spheres.

"The report indicates that notwithstanding checks and balances, these measures were not adequate to deter wrongdoing, especially in the procurement of goods and services and in its place, overpricing has taken place despite National Treasury regulations."

READ | ANC NEC: Ramaphosa offers to subject himself to integrity committee

Majodina said, however, the Covid-19 relief funds provided relief to many South Africans in need.

"The Covid-19 relief package has also provided for a safety net for the most vulnerable, the unemployed and the aged through increased social grants. The Temporary Employer and Employee Relief Scheme has greatly assisted those who were dislocated and could not work during the shutdown or lost their jobs. Food parcels and many other interventions have also been possible through the relief package," she said.

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