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SIU to probe misuse of Covid funds

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'The center is currently involved in the investigation of corruption, at least 36 cases are at various levels. Every instance of corruption must be thoroughly investigated and all money must be recovered.'

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the Special Investigating Unit to probe all government spending linked to the state of disaster declared over the Coronavirus pandemic.

In his address, Ramaphosa said that all the funds that government has committed must reach their intended recipients.

“We have established a centre comprised of various state organs such as the FIC, IPID, NPA, Hawks, Criminal Intelligence, SIU & the SSA, to investigate corruption. The centre is currently involved in the investigation of corruption, at least 36 cases are at various levels. Every instance of corruption must be thoroughly investigated and all money must be recovered,”

“Increasingly we are hearing about overpricing violation of regulation abuse of food parcel distribution and the creation of fake NGO to access funding. Corruption puts lives at risk, particularly at this time. The success of our fight against corruption depends on all citizens,” he said.

To date R1.5 billion in support has been provided to a number of small and medium businesses. Over R70 billion in tax relief has been provided to businesses.

In a gazette published earlier today,  signed by Ramaphosa and justice minister Ronald Lamola; the president wants the SIU to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into public money and public officials linked to the declaration of the state of disaster.

According to the gazette, the probe must cover “the procurement of or contracting for, goods, works and services, including the construction, refurbishment, leasing, occupation and use of immovable property, during, or in respect of the national state of disaster”.