File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

SIU wants to dive deeper into Gauteng Education’s R431m decontamination contract

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jun 2, 2021

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Cape Town - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said on Wednesday that it wanted to dive deep into who was accountable for the R431 million tender for the decontamination of schools in Gauteng.

The corruption busting unit’s head even wants the investigators to fast track the probe so that there could be some findings by the end of June.

The investigation involved the R431m expenditure by the Gauteng Education Department to decontaminate schools and used about 269 service providers.

Briefing the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, SIU head Andy Mothibi said the investigation was ongoing.

“The investigation has to look at all the procurement processes but at this stage we can report that the supply chain management process has been concluded to make a finding that the procurement process has been irregular.

“Of course, we need to dive deep to determine accountability so that we can make appropriate referrals for consequence management. This includes continuing with interviews of all officials, including the executive authority,” Mothibi said.

He also said their team aimed to conclude the investigation by the end of August.

“But I urged them to fast track so that we can bring out some of the findings by the end of June. Just like with the national Department of Health, we lined up interviews including with the executive authority so that we come to credible conclusions based on evidence that we would have collected from all witnesses including that of the executive authority,” Mothibi said.

He told the MPs that the SIU had in February registered the investigation with the Fusion Centre to assist with bank accounts and profiling of service providers.

“We prioritised the top 40. Fourteen bank accounts with amounts R40.47m has been frozen by the Special Tribunal on 17 May.

“We briefed the counsel to review and set aside the appointment of these service providers. That relates to the procurement process that has been found to be irregular.”

Mothibi also said they make appropriate referrals for criminal prosecution and disciplinary action, following the investigation, was on-going

Meanwhile, the SIU said there was one matter that related to SAPS they had investigated.

“With the other matter in the media space I confirmed with Hawks yesterday (Tuesday), they are dealing with the matters. They have not been reported to the SIU as of yesterday,” chief investigator Leonard Lekgetho said.

There are reports that SAPS spent R1.6 billion in irregular PPE this year.

SAPS have dismissed the report saying its supply chain division was granted a deviation by national commissioner Khehla Sitole on March 26 to make emergency procurements of PPE.

Political Bureau

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