SIU welcomes the dismissal of Gauteng health official over PPE tender irregularities
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THE Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the dismissal of senior Gauteng health official Thandiwe Pino, for her role in the irregular award of personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts. The contracts were worth more than R330m.
The SIU said it investigated allegations of maladministration, greed, nepotism, and corruption, in the appointment of services providers by the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The investigating unit said part of the allegations it received stated that Royal Bhaca Projects (Pty) Ltd was irregularly awarded a contract, to the value of R125 million, from the GDoH, to supply various PPE items, due to its director’s proximity to then MEC of GDoH Bandile Masuku.
Another allegation was that Ledla Structural Development (PTY) Ltd, a company with links to Royal Bhaca, was appointed by the GDoH to provide PPE to the value of R139m.
It was also claimed that Beadica 423 CC was awarded a contract to supply PPE to the value of R68 597 000 by the GDoH. Included in the products to supply were surgical masks, N95 masks, and FFP2 masks.
The SIU said its investigation revealed that proper procurement processes were not followed in awarding contracts to Royal Bacha, Ledla, and Beadica, by the former chief financial officer Kabelo Lehloenya, and Pino.
Lehloenya resigned when the allegations surfaced, and the SIU was granted a preservation order by the Special Tribunal, to freeze her pension benefits pending the finalisation of civil action against her.
"In line with Section 5(7) of the SIU Act 74 of 1996, the SIU referred evidence – in support of the institution of disciplinary action against Pino – to the GDoH.
The GDoH actioned the referral by the SIU and instituted disciplinary charges against Pino. The SIU provided evidence and support at the disciplinary hearing. The SIU was informed that Pino was found guilty on the disciplinary charges and a sanction of dismissal was made," it said.
"The action by GDoH is a clear demonstration of implementation of SIU referrals for disciplinary action," the SIU said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE