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SIU to probe NC economic development agency

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The Special Investigating Unit will probe allegations of corruption and serious maladministration at the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

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THE SPECIAL Investigating Unit (SIU) will probe allegations of corruption and serious maladministration at the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (NCEDA).

The SIU was tasked to investigate following a proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to probe seven contracts involving the procurement of goods and services, legal services, event organising and management services, consulting services, security services, services relating to the Riemvasmaak tourism master plan, catering and procurement of an audio-visual system.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said on Tuesday that they would investigate allegations of serious maladministration and unauthorised salary adjustments and would recover any financial losses suffered by the state and NCEDA.

“The SIU will also investigate any unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by NCEDA or the state. The scope of the investigation also covers any unlawful or improper conduct by officials or employees of NCEDA, the applicable suppliers or service providers or any other person or entity.”

Kganyago indicated that the proclamation covered allegations of unlawful and improper conduct that took place between March 1, 2012 and February 9, 2024.

“In addition to investigating maladministration, malpractice, corruption and fraud, the SIU will identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses.”

Kganyago stated that it would refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct uncovered during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.

“The SIU is empowered by the SIU Act to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during its investigation caused by acts of corruption, fraud or maladministration,” he said.

DA provincial chairperson Isak Fritz pointed out that NCEDA was functioning without a permanent board.

“This means that the acting chief executive officer is responsible for all duties carried out by the board and all operational duties carried out by staff. The lack of checks and balances to prevent misuse of power makes the entity open to the abuse of funds, dereliction of duty and misconduct.”

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