The Mercury

SIU lists KZN among graft hot spots

- TARRYN-LEIGH SOLOMONS tarryn-leigh.solomons@i

THE Special Investigat­ing Unit (SIU) says of all nine provinces, Gauteng has been identified as one of the provinces with the highest number of corruption reports, followed by KwaZulu-Natal.

The SIU briefed the portfolio committee on justice. In its presentati­on it said that 44% of the complaints originated from Gauteng.

The whistle-blower accounts were mainly drawn from the City of Johannesbu­rg at 22.1%, followed by Tshwane at 10.1% and Ekurhuleni Municipali­ty at 7.1%.

KZN was identified as the province with the second highest number of corruption reports at 13%, followed by the Western Cape in third place at 10%.

The eThekwini Municipali­ty made up 5.8% of the corruption reports in KZN, while in the Western Cape the City of Cape Town contribute­d 7.4%.

The trending forms of corruption included maladminis­tration, misappropr­iation of resources and procuremen­t irregulari­ties.

Addressing the committee, SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi said that amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, the procuremen­t of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in state institutio­ns has shown worrying levels of corruption in the country.

He said a PPE investigat­ions report was submitted to President Cyril Ramaphosa on April 30. The report consists of a combinatio­n of finalised and ongoing investigat­ions, he said. The contract value of alleged irregular contracts stands at R14.2 billion.

“We’ve made significan­t progress and shown outcomes. We will present these findings to the committee at an appropriat­e time.”

Digging deeper, the SIU’s chief legal counsel Jerome Wells said there were currently 15 matters, dealing with a combined value of R365 million, before the Special Tribunal.

“To date, several preservati­on orders have been handed down by the Tribunal. In total, 13, but notably two of those issued this year total in excess of R44 million. Both of those matters are presently pending and appeals have been lodged in both matters.

“There are a number of other cases where we have also frozen monies that have been deposited into accounts by various service providers for officials of state institutio­ns and those accounts have also been frozen.

“Just to highlight the importance of the tribunal is that the number of cases finalised despite the Covid-19 conditions that prevail is much more significan­t than what we’ve experience­d by our litigation in terms of the high courts.

“The significan­ce of all of this is helped by the judges who have been appointed in the tribunal, their cases are actively case managed and the time period for matters to be finalised is much shorter and the impact greater."

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