The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), has successfully instituted civil proceedings in the Special Tribunal to review and set aside a R4 899 000 contract irregularly awarded to Rosette Investments by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development.

The contract was for the supply of 12 000 blankets.

The SIU approached the Special Tribunal in October 2020 to review and set aside four contracts awarded by the Social Development Department to supply 48 000 blankets to the tune of more than R18 million as part of the COVID-19 pandemic relief and to recover financial losses suffered by the Department.

The Rosette Investments contract is the second of the four contracts that were successfully reviewed and set aside, said the SIU in a statement on Sunday.

The SIU investigation had found that Rosette Investments had indeed delivered the blankets as per the terms of the irregular contract.

As a result, the SIU calculated the profit earned from the procurement contract by the investment company and demanded that it be paid back.

Rosette Investments agreed to pay back R864 005 and the agreement was made an order of the Special Tribunal.

The Special Tribunal ordered Rosette Investments on Friday to pay back the money to the SIU within seven days.

The company was also ordered to pay legal costs of the SIU, including the costs of counsel, consultations with counsel, opinions and advises sought and drafting of the application documents.

Head of the SIU, Advocate Andy Mothibi welcomed the Special Tribunal order.

“This is a continuation of implementation of the SIU investigations outcomes and consequence management to recover financial losses suffered by government departments, municipalities and State Owned Entities due to the irregular award of personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts.

“There are other cases enrolled in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in further recoveries for the State institutions,” Mothibi said.

The SIU received allegations of the irregular award of blanket contracts through its whistle-blower hotline and investigated the allegations as part of the Proclamation R23 of 2020 authorising the corruption busting unit to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration in PPE procurement by State institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SIU is an independent statutory body with a primary mandate to investigate allegations of corruption, malpractice and maladministration in the affairs of government departments, municipalities and state owned entities and to recover financial losses suffered by State institutions.

Fraud and corruption allegations may be reported via the following platforms: siu@whistleblowing.co.za / Hotline: 0800 037 774. 

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