Picture: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP
Picture: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

SIU still probing more Western Cape PPE contracts

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Feb 8, 2021

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Cape Town - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has said it is too early to make conclusive findings on investigations into personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption allegations, following the DA on Sunday issuing a statement that “no wrongdoing by any DA-led government in the Western Cape” was found.

The SIU on Friday released a report into finalised investigations and outcomes into allegations of corruption in various government departments relating to PPE procurement.

Following the release of the report, the DA issued a statement citing that the report did not find any incidences of “fraud” or “corruption” by any DA-led government in the province.

However SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they have only completed 26% of the investigations.

“We have clearly indicated that we only completed 26% of the investigation. It is too early to make any such conclusive findings,” Kganyago said.

DA Western Cape spokesperson on Premier and Constitutional Affairs, Ricardo Mackenzie, charged the SIU report did not find any incidences of fraud or corruption in the DA in the Western Cape.

“Of the investigations concluded and referenced in the report, there are no adverse findings against our governments. We have noted that the investigations into provincial Education (hand sanitisers), Office the Premier (thermometers), and Health (microscopes) are reflected as concluded in the latest SIU report, with no irregularities or matters for further concern,” Mackenzie said.

Mackenzie added that the report only indicates findings against the Matzikama Local Municipality which is led by the ANC.

But Provincial ANC coordinator Ronalda Nalumango said they have not seen anything about Matzikama while studying the report.

“We cannot see how Mr Mackenzie in his befuddled and warped thinking could have seen such a finding. We do believe he belongs to the school that feels the facts should not stand in the way of a good slur. We support the SIU and its investigations and insist that they be done without fear or favour. We are disappointed that an investigation into Swellendam has not been completed after five years. We also expect more investigations into the Western Cape Education Department,” Nalumango said.

Good party Secretary-General, Brett Herron called for more scrutiny into Western Cape Education Department (WCED) supplier, Masiqhame Trading 1057.

“[It] is one of top suppliers in terms of orders and payments in the country. [It] has received R474 million worth of orders and has already received R299 million in payments. It enjoys an almost exclusive arrangement with the Education Department and we have to ask why the supply of products and services is not shared amongst a number of suppliers.Its dominance in the Province’s procurement needs more scrutiny.”

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said Masiqhame Trading is registered on the National Treasury supplier database and was awarded a contract in a competitive bidding process in 2017 for the provision of cleaning, gardening and electrical supplies to the the department for a period of three years.

“When the procurement of Covid-19 protective materials became necessary, National Treasury instructions were that departments should use their existing contracts to furnish the items. The supplier was able to furnish the required materials,” she said.

The SIU has vowed to focus ensuring that there was accountability in all levels of administration.

Cape Times

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