The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has rejected claims that it has allowed political interference in its selection of Covid-19 corruption investigations.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said in a statement that the unit had “noted with concern” comments the SA National Civic Organisation’s Limpopo branch had made in reaction to the unit’s report into finalised investigations and outcomes of the state’s COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment procurement processes.
SANCO Limpopo earlier alleged that the SIU had engaged in selective investigation of state entities in the province and political selectivity in its operations. It had also alleged that the SIU had contravened its Constitutional mandate and the terms of reference of the Presidential Proclamation R23 of 2020. However, the SIU has responded that its investigations have not involved political bias as SANCO alleged and that investigations are ongoing.
Kganyago said the SIU rejected the allegations as “baseless, misleading and aimed at tarnishing its work”.
“It is of great importance to correct the perception created and set the record straight. The SIU has in its release of the report into finalised investigations and outcomes made it very clear to South Africans that the Unit is investigating a total of 2556 contracts, of which 164 contracts valued at R3.5 billion are have been completed,” Kganyago said.
Contracts worth more than R6,8 billion probed
“Investigations into 1541 contracts worth more than R6.8 billion are currently underway; and investigations into 851 contracts to the value of R2.9 billion are yet to commence,” he said.
Kganyago said that the SIU had not yet submitted a final report. He said the report released on the February 5 2021 only accounted for 26% of its work and only related to investigations that had been finalised.
“It is clear that SANCO did not read the report released by Head of the Unit Advocate Andy Mothibi, which is available on the SIU website www.siu.org.za for public consumption. We urge them to read it,” he said.
Political pressure claim rejected
“The SIU will never investigate allegations selectively. The SIU rejects the assertion of ‘political selectivity in its operations’ and will continue with the execution of its mandate, investigate, make findings based on evidence and pursue all those responsible to hold them to account without fear, favour or prejudice,” he said.
He said the unit rejected the claim that ‘political pressure played a role in determining which corrupt cases moved forward and which were set aside’.
“The SIU views this statement as baseless and as an attempt to divert us from the work at hand. We will not be deterred from serving this country with integrity. We will never be swayed by any form of pressure and SIU places premium on the value of integrity,” Kganyago said.
He urged the people of Limpopo to report all acts of corruption for investigation and prosecution.
“SANCO should also report allegations that they are aware of and the SIU will investigate without fear, favour or prejudice. The SIU COVID-19 corruption and maladministration allegations investigations are ongoing and we call on all members of the public to report the allegations to the SIU,” he said.
Fraud and corruption allegations may be reported via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the hotline: 0800 037 774