Ramaphosa announces establishment of 4 new courts to deal with Covid-19 corruption

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
PHOTO: GCIS
  • Four new Special Commercial Crimes Courts will be established to deal with cases of Covid-19-related corruption.
  • Sars is investigating estimated tax revenue losses of R300 million.
  • The SIU is looking into 1 274 contracts.


Four new Special Commercial Crimes Courts will be established to deal with cases of Covid-19-related corruption, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.

In response to a question from ANC MP Maurencia Gillion, Ramaphosa said the government had "responded swiftly and decisively to allegations of corruption in the awarding of Covid-19-related contracts".

He added the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was currently looking into 932 cases under the proclamation issued in July and all were at different stages of investigation.

"The SIU has, to date, provided me with two interim reports which outline the progress in the investigations, including where investigations have been finalised."

He said: 

The reports of SIU investigations will be made public once all the necessary processes have been completed and there is no risk of jeopardising ongoing investigations.

Ramaphosa said the SA Revenue Service (Sars) had established a Covid-19 project team to investigate and audit cases.

At the end of September, there were 307 cases with an estimated tax revenue loss of R300 million and 139 companies were referred for potential tax evasion investigations.

"The rise in serious commercial crimes and incidents of Covid-19 procurement corruption has meant that we are fast-tracking the establishment of additional Special Commercial Crimes Courts and increasing the capacity of existing ones."

SIU knows 'what is at stake'

"We are looking to establish additional Special Commercial Crimes Courts in Polokwane, Mbombela, Mahikeng, Mthatha and Mangaung," he added.

DA MP Tim Brauteseth asked him for an update on the SIU's investigations.

"The Special Investigating Unit has made progress in their investigations since the proclamation was issued on 23 July 2020," said Ramaphosa.

"The SIU is currently investigating 1 274 contracts from 85 departments, provinces, municipalities and public entities.

"To date, it has referred 34 criminal matters to the National Prosecuting Authority, and 33 disciplinary referrals to state institutions."

He said: 

The SIU has instituted cases in the Special Tribunal for cancellation of contracts to the value of R223 million and the recovery of funds.

"The investigations are ongoing. As I indicated earlier, the reports of SIU will be made public once all the necessary processes have been completed and there is no risk of jeopardising ongoing investigations."

Ramaphosa commended the SIU for its outstanding work under difficult conditions.

"They know what is at stake. It is the ethos of our country, that is what is at stake," he added.

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
53% - 8740 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
43% - 7162 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 668 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.89
(+0.60)
ZAR/GBP
20.33
(+0.57)
ZAR/EUR
18.02
(+0.90)
ZAR/AUD
11.53
(+0.18)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.27)
Gold
1869.18
(+1.56)
Silver
25.80
(+2.42)
Platinum
1108.00
(+2.39)
Brent Crude
55.94
(+2.10)
Palladium
2378.50
(+1.19)
All Share
64108.51
(+0.79)
Top 40
58857.76
(+0.85)
Financial 15
11997.84
(-0.16)
Industrial 25
85626.27
(+0.66)
Resource 10
63102.03
(+1.34)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo