SIU investigating R5bn worth of Covid-19 tenders

Says it’s working hard to conclude its investigations speedily, so action can be taken against those implicated in corruption.
The investigations body says it is also taking allegations of irregular procurement within its own unit seriously. Image: Getty Images

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is probing just under 660 companies and contracts valued at over R5 billion, over corruption allegations regarding the procurement of goods and services needed for government’s Covid-19 response. 

The SIU motivated for a mandate to carry out these investigations, after receiving reports about alleged wrongdoing from the director-general in the office of the Gauteng premier as well as a number of known and anonymous whistleblowers.

The reports have to do with maladministration and corruption in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital and quarantine sites, food parcels, ventilators, motorised wheelchairs and disinfecting equipment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa issued the proclamation in July.

Read: Treasury seeks to tighten PPE procurement


In its presentation before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in Parliament on Wednesday, the SIU said it had units working on investigations across all nine provinces, including five government departments. 

The scope of the SIU’s proclamation regarding the investigations is to determine whether the procurement or contracting was done through fair and competitive processes and in line with the applicable legislative or regulatory prescripts. The SIU will also determine if the parties involved used improper and unlawful means to unduly benefit from Covid-19 contracts and if there was any fraud or fruitless and wasteful expenditure. 

The SIU’s work is limited to allegations of irregular Covid-19 procurements that occurred between January 1 and July 23. 

Of the 658 matters under investigation, 157 were identified under the Gauteng Health Department; these amount to R2.2 billion.

This is followed by the Eastern Cape, which has the largest number of matters under investigation (350 companies and contracts to the value of at least R2 billion). Among these is its education department’s decision to enter into a R500 million contract to lease 55 000 tablets and develop an e-learning platform for learners.

The value of the Eastern Cape’s contracts could possibly be above those in Gauteng, as the SIU must still determine the amounts involved in some of the identified matters. 

In KwaZulu-Natal, the SIU is investigating 79 matters worth R557 million in two departments.

In the Western Cape, five contracts or companies are being investigated for issues such as bid manipulation and leaked bid documents, the sale of fraudulent hand sanitisers, and irregular procurement. The sum under investigation is over R121 million. 

Speedy investigations

SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi confirmed that in Limpopo the unit is also looking into the R40 million Beitbridge border fence project and the shack settlement development, in which 40 poorly constructed shacks were reportedly erected by the provincial government for R2.4 million.

Responding to allegations that the SIU itself had procured masks for its staff members irregularly, Mothibi said the Auditor-General is looking into the matter urgently and that a report will be provided to Scopa as soon as it is available.

Mothibi said the SIU wants the allegations to be investigated speedily and that resources have been reallocated across the provinces to ensure that the teams have the capacity to prioritise Covid-19 corruption investigations. 

In addition to its own integrated model in its civil litigation unit, which will ensure that losses suffered are recovered through civil action, the SIU is working in collaboration with the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and other law enforcement agencies in the fusion centre for speedy results.

Mothibi said the SIU continues to receive allegations almost every week.

To deal with the volume it has adopted a phased approach, prioritising some of the earliest reports it received as well as those that have been widely reported. For instance, the controversial R10 million scooter project in the Eastern Cape and the irregular procurement of PPE in Gauteng linked to prominent state officials are receiving priority.

Mothibi said the SIU would also like to see criminal prosecution of those responsible for any financial mismanagement. He said the investigation teams have been given a directive to investigate irregularities across all levels of authorisation – from officials and executives to accounting officers and any other person involved in any act of corruption.

The SIU conducts project reviews every Friday, and Mothibi says the unit is on target to provide Ramaphosa with its first six-weekly interim report in early September.



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ANC investigating itself and finding no guilty party !!

The State Capturers during Zuma’s reign are still at it, capturing what they can.

The Zondo Commission a smoke screen, waste of money and tiresome.. no one yet brought to book..and never will

Now the SIU are going after some more Cadres, probably the exact same bunch who head up the entire business of looting within government..The Guptas controlling it via ZOOM meetings

This is a joke, the ANC a disgrace, showing daily their disrespect toward the citizens of this country

Our leader is useless, a mere puppet, his strings pulled by the likes of AM and NDZ

Yet the IMF signed the cheque and the R70 billion is gone

It boggles the mind to witness how deeply entrenched greed lies within the ruling party

They don’t just steal one sweet from the Supermarket, they steal the entire shop!

That’s what Shameless Thieves do.

R5 billion out of R500 billion.



Want some credibility?…….show us the orange overalls.

Out of stock…they were stolen

This is part of the operational inefficiency of South African Goverment.

Employee people unnecessary to be unproductive in the creation of goods and services.

There are two types of jobs in the world, Income and Expense jobs. Any form of Admin, Security and Support are expenses therefore do not contribute any income.

Chasing a shadow at night…
We are better of without having any politicans, yes there is a need for laws and guidance but let’s face the facts we need to cut the weakest link in our society.

They may aswel investigate the whole ANC.

Good idea.. ..

Our prisons though are too small to lock them all up..

They all have dirt on each other so no one gets to wear the orange suit

They’re an absolute disgrace on society, even putting segregation to shame, making it look like a tea party

“The SIU’s work is limited to allegations of irregular Covid-19 procurement that occurred between January 1 and July 23.”

So who’s children received appointments on the 24th of July?

It’s a million dollar question why the investigation is limited to July 23…

Why are they investigating?

They know who did it
No one will ever be charged
Just leave it and save some money

Anyway I thought Batohi is still “building capacity”?

Bottom line is, NPA do not have the resources and expertise to prosecute. All the expertise left with the Scorpions. The Loot is gone.

It is a case of the dog chasing the cat that is chasing the rat that has sto1en the scraps.
The ANC chasing the ANC that is chasing the ANC that has sto1en the scraps.

I will vote ANC in the next election IF only one minister or ex-minister gets an orange overall. Somehow I think I will never get to vote for them.

Great thought, I will vote for them if they put Zuma in jail and then slowly but methodically work their way down the pyramid.

What about all the other corruption cases? Will these new ones take the same length of time…in which case, it will never happen! The recent Gupta wedding in Dubai cost R100m….moneystolen from the SA taxpayer…at this rate the money will all be spent and there won’t be anything to prosecute for! So don’t talk to me about “speedy”
Sis man!

The SIU should bring SARS on board to confirm VAT compliance for all these middlemen. The Al Capone route is more direct than a corruption case. And it’s a better use of SARS time than ‘verifying’ small refunds to charities etc.

Another investigation into the already investigated by the investigated who were previously investigated by other investigators and who all come from the same source. Answer = Zero.

Mr President, you and your Goverment new this was going to happen. Why did the ANC including Ace, Jessie Treasury etc did not put systems in place to have once again avoided this. Now we have to tie up our limited resources to investigate. The new Dawn continues as corruption has increased under your watch.

To all the Opposition Parties you are as bad as the ANC. Shouting your mouths off and collecting your bloated salaries. Until we can put South Africa and it’s people first especially the poor and vulnerable with just a few Opposition party like other countries we are doomed. The poor will be happy with a food parcel and a T shirt b4 elections.

Cyril you are failing South Africa as a weak leader. We should all be very afraid and getting poorer.


End of comments.



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