Deputy President David Mabuza says government is encouraged with the progress of law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting those implicated in PPE corruption.

The Deputy President said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.

“In recent months, we have seen more allegations of corruption being referred to the South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

“Furthermore, the Fusion Centre, which is a multi-disciplinary team of law enforcement agencies, has been established to investigate COVID-19 corruption in particular.”

The Deputy President said the President has ordered, through several proclamations, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate allegations of corruption towards government spending in the fight against Coronavirus, particularly in the awarding of PPE tenders.

The SIU is currently investigating up to R5 billion in contracts alleged to have been improperly awarded to various companies in the procurement of PPE.

“As government, we continue to provide the necessary support to these enforcement agencies, including availing the necessary resources for them to function optimally.

“In the same breath, we give them space to act independently without fear, favour or prejudice. We are encouraged to see considerable progress being made in apprehending those who are alleged to have been involved in corrupt activities.”   

The Deputy President said government will continue to enhance internal control systems to ensure openness, transparency and accountability to protect the integrity of government’s procurement system.

“Where breaches have been committed, those who have been involved must be held accountable.”

Moral fibre of society compromised

The Deputy President said, meanwhile, that the Moral Regeneration Movement remains a critical platform to galvanise society to advance the promotion of positive values and ethical conduct.

He said this would empower government to confront deep-seated challenges of moral decay within communities, including within the public service.

“As government… we are fully committed to the elimination of corruption in all its forms and manifestation. We are therefore calling on all our citizens to support the President’s efforts to deal with corruption across society.”

He said the corrupt activities – revealed through the work of law enforcement agencies – highlight the extent to which the country’s moral fibre has been compromised.

While work is being done to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, society should equally condemn acts of corruption, said the Deputy President, adding that corrupt individuals pursue self-enrichment at the expense of the plight of the people.

“Such activities do not only undermine people’s trust in government, but also undermine our efforts of attracting investment that we so need so that we can grow this economy,” he said.

The country’s moral and societal values have been highly tested during the pandemic.

“We must all agree that more needs to be done to solidify the ethical foundation of our society to ensure that public resources are utilised in a responsible manner to benefit our people.”

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