Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are just some of the members of a new ministerial committee appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to deal with corruption-related to the state’s coronavirus response.
The six-member ministerial committee will be chaired by Lamola and also consists of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu.
The decision to form the committee – which is expected to look into corruption in the procurement of goods and services, including personal protective equipment – was made by cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday.
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Ramaphosa has also requested that all ministers and premiers supply the committee with “information on the names of companies and details of tenders and contracts that have been awarded in national departments, provincial governments and public entities during the period of the National State of Disaster”, the presidency said in a statement.
These lists must be provided as “a matter of urgency this week”, after which the committee will prepare a “comprehensive report” that Ramaphosa will release to the public.
The announcement comes on the back of grave public discontent following reports of corruption in the issuing of Covid-19 tenders, with some allegations implicating government officials, politicians and their relatives.
It comes ahead of a briefing by Lamola that is expected to take place on Thursday evening, where outcomes from the cabinet meeting will be divulged.
“Cabinet’s decision reinforces the determination of the president, expressed in a national address on July 23, that there should be no theft, no wastage and no mismanagement of public funds as the country fights Covid-19,” the Presidency said.
“The president warned that the consequences for those who broke the law – whether they are in the public or private sectors – would be severe.”