President Ramaphosa releases SIU COVID-19 investigations report

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has released the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report into COVID-19 procurement to the public this morning.

Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on progress in the national effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic
President Cyril Ramaphosa

The report is a culmination of an 18-month investigation by the SIU into billions of Rands worth of contracts entered into by the state for resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of these contracts remain under investigation by the unit and a supplementary report will be handed over to the President by June this year.

“This investigation targeted individuals and institutions who believed they could exploit a moment of national vulnerability to enrich themselves and those with whom they colluded to abuse public resources.

“It is unacceptable that so many contracts associated with saving lives and protecting livelihoods were irregular, unlawful or fraudulent,” President Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.

At least 5467 government contracts awarded to some 3066 service providers with a total value of R14.3 billion were or are being investigated by the SIU.

The investigation of some 4549 contracts have been completed with at least 2803 of these found to be irregular.

According to The Presidency, the following consequences have so far been managed by the SIU since the start of the investigation:

  • Forty-five matters – constituting a combined value of R2.1 billion – have been enrolled with the Special Tribunal on Corruption, Fraud and Illicit Money Flows.
  • The SIU has made 224 referrals for disciplinary action against officials in government departments or entities.
  • The SIU has made 386 referrals to the NPA, as well as three referrals for Executive Action.
  • The SIU has made 330 referrals for administrative action, which includes blacklisting.
  • The rand value of actual cash and assets to be recovered on the basis of the investigation is R551.5 million, while cash and assets recovered to date total R34.2 million.
  • The value of potential loss prevented by the investigation is R114.2 million, while contracts set aside amount to R170.4 million.

The President said the report “demonstrates our determination to root out corruption and to deal with perpetrators” and called the report an essential phase in bringing corrupt individuals to account.

“The submission of the final report is an important step in our fight against corruption in the public and private sectors, and against maladministration.

”The final report details matters referred by the SIU to the National Prosecuting Authority, departments and entities in the public sector and other parties, who will finalise the process of bringing wrongdoers to book and addressing weaknesses identified by the SIU investigation,” he said. – SAnews


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