PICS | Civil society protests Covid-19 corruption: 'We want to see looters in orange overalls'

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Organisations & civil society demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption at the Constitutional Hill.
Organisations & civil society demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption at the Constitutional Hill.
Canny Maphanga
  • Civil society organisations and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation demonstrated at Constitutional Hill on Friday.
  • The demonstration was against Covid-19 corruption.
  • The organisations are calling for transparency and accountability. 

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and civil society organisations demonstrated against Covid-19 corruption at Constitutional Hill on Friday. This was to highlight a campaign which calls for society to "say no to Covid-19 corruption".

The organisations called for accountability and transparency.

"The kind of sacrifices South Africans have made [during the pandemic], the last thing they expected was for the funds to help alleviate poverty, ensure that our frontline healthcare workers have the necessary PPE and equipment to do the work that was required, [was] to find that it was of inferior quality or not delivered at all," Ahmed Kathrada Foundation executive director Neeshan Balton said.

"[This] is simply because others thought it more important to line their own pockets and steal in a way that I think is the most brazen [act] that we have seen thus far," he added.

READ: This is how the SIU is investigating Covid-19 corruption

The country has been rocked by allegations of Covid-19 corruption.

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Organisations & civil society demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption at the Constitutional Hill.
News24 Canny Maphanga
c
Organisations & civil society demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption at the Constitutional Hill.
News24 Canny Maphanga
c
Organisations & civil society demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption at the Constitutional Hill.
News24 Canny Maphanga
c
Organisations & civil society demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption at the Constitutional Hill.
News24 Canny Maphanga

One of the most recent being the Gauteng PPE scandal, which implicated presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko and her husband, as well as Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, and his wife, Loyiso.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is probing the multi-million rand deal.

ALSO READ: PPE scandal: ANC Gauteng says integrity commission report on Masuku, Diko is ready

University of the Free State Chancellor and Chair of Bidvest, Bonang Mohale, joined the demonstration on Friday and stated that there comes a time when silence itself is a betrayal.

"When the people who call themselves our leaders steal from the poor, the hungry, the sick… that's when you know that you have begun to sow the seeds for the downfall of this country of Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela's dreams," he said.

The organisation said they met with a government delegation, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Friday, 11 September 2020, to emphasise this call for a transparent and accountable government.

In their presentation to Ramaphosa, the group's demands included the following:

- Name and shame the corrupt, and support and strengthen honest public servants and whistleblowers;

- Call for the government to ensure that all public representatives and political party executive committee members and their immediate families, as well as all civil servants, not be allowed to conduct business with the state;

- That the law enforcement agencies investigate, recoup the money and prosecute those in the public and private sector involved in Covid-19 corruption; and

- We want to see Covid-19 looters in orange overalls, they stated.

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