Thandi Modise considering requests for Parliament to address Covid-19 corruption allegations
Cape Town – National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise is considering requests that the national legislature address the allegations of corruption around Covid-19 relief measures.
On Monday, spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Modise received requests from the DA and the EFF to address the allegations of corruption around Covid-19 relief.
"The DA, through its parliamentary leader, Mr John Steenhuisen, has requested a scheduling of debate of urgent national public importance on corruption related to Covid-19 tenders, with President Cyril Ramaphosa also appearing to provide answers about how he will act on the allegations?" Mothapo said.
"The EFF chief whip, Mr Floyd Shivambu, has requested a special committee be established (ad hoc committee of inquiry) to investigate the alleged corruption committed in the Covid-19 procurement of protective personal equipment, food parcels and other Covid-19-related expenses," he said.
Mothapo said: "The Speaker is considering the two requests and will revert to the DA and EFF in due course."
In his Monday newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa said a broad range of investigative and prosecutorial capabilities need to be brought together under one roof.
"Fusion centres that draw together different agencies for better information and intelligence sharing, to pool resources and to streamline operations are common practice in a number of countries," he said.
"We have taken this approach to detect, investigate and prosecute Covid-related corruption
"A special centre has been established that brings together the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks, Crime Intelligence and the SAPS Detective Service, South African Revenue Service, Special Investigating Unit and the State Security Agency," Ramaphosa said.
He said this strengthened their response immensely.
"These bodies are now working together not just to investigate individual allegations, but also establish linkages between patronage networks that are trying to hide their activities.
“Because of this cooperation, prosecutions should proceed more quickly and stand a better chance of success."
Ramaphosa said the steps taken right now would not only safeguard Covid funds, but also protect all public funds and all institutions from corruption now and into the future.
"We must look, for example, to extend the responsibility of our multi-disciplinary team of investigators and prosecutors beyond Covid-related crimes.
“We should use the current approaches and methods to dramatically strengthen the fight against corruption."