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SIU probe clears awarding of PPE tender to wife of adviser to NC premier

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The SAPS awarded a Covid-19-related personal protective equipment tender to Mandisa Shushu – the wife of Norman Shushu – who is employed as a special adviser in the Office of the Premier

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THE SPECIAL Investigations Unit (SIU) has found no wrongdoing relating to the personal protective equipment (PPE) tender that was awarded to the wife of the special adviser to the Northern Cape premier.

The SAPS awarded the tender to Mandisa Shushu – the wife of Norman Shushu, who is employed as a special adviser in the Office of the Premier – in March 2020.

According to an order number, a R13 million tender was approved for the provision of one million three-ply surgical face masks at a unit price of R13 per mask.

The SIU indicated that normal supply chain management processes were deviated from with the approval of the national commissioner for the procurement.

A summary of the findings of the SIU investigation stated that potential suppliers were identified from the central supplier database.

“The SAPS visited potential suppliers to confirm stock before requesting quotations from a large number of suppliers. The supplier was one of these suppliers and submitted a price quotation on March 29, 2020 to supply 500 000 surgical masks for the amount of R6.5 million.”

The report stated that an order number was issued on the same date to the supplier by the SAPS.

“However, the supplier failed to deliver, which resulted in a letter of demand issued by the SAPS on April 16, 2020. By April 20 the supplier still failed to deliver and the SAPS cancelled the contract. As a result no masks were delivered and no payments were made. No evidence pointing to any irregularities with regards to the procurement of the contract was found. The matter is now closed.”

The SIU report on Covid-19 PPE-related procurement investigations across the country was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday after the report was released last week.

The chairperson of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) committee, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said they were aware of ongoing reports that the SIU would release periodically as its investigations unfolded.

“This means that the committee will be engaged in a process of following up with the relevant structures to ensure that there are speedy prosecutions and other consequence-management processes for those who are implicated.”

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Ali Diteme, said on Thursday that they had not yet received the report from the SIU on the provincial PPE procurement.

The department conducted an internal investigation into Covid-19 expenditure incurred by provincial departments from March 5, 2020 to August 31, 2020.

“The Province provided the SIU with the provincial PPE report together with the internal audit reports. The SIU indicated in the last media briefing that they are still working on the information that is at their disposal. To date we have not received any findings from the SIU on the provincial PPE procurement,” said Diteme.

He added that the Province was committed to working with the SIU on PPE tender matters. The provincial government spent R171.59 million on PPE, social relief, disinfecting public buildings, infrastructure works and repairs in the Northern Cape as of July 31, 2020.