At least 14 government entities and departments – including the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) – will come under the sharp eye of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed five proclamations authorising the unit to investigate corruption and maladministration in the entities.
SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said the departments under investigation include all of the provincial health departments.
“The SIU investigation [into health departments] will focus on unlawful or improper conduct by claimants or applicants in respect to medical negligence claims that were fraudulent, improper or unlawful by any person or entity that unduly benefited themselves or any other person. The SIU will also investigate any irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by institutions or the State.
“The probe will cover claims that took place between 1 January 2013 and 22 July 2022, the date of the proclamation or which took place prior to 1 January 2013 or after the date of publication of this Proclamation, but is relevant to, connected with, incidental or ancillary to the matters investigated or involve the same persons, entities or contracts investigated,” Kganyago said.
He said the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport will also come under scrutiny.
“Proclamation R.76 of 2022 authorises the SIU to investigate serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport, including the causes of such maladministration, which has led to the department incurring irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as identified by the Auditor-General of South Africa.
“The SIU will also investigate any alleged serious, improper or unlawful conduct by employees of the department, unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money, unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property, intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property, offence referred to in parts or sections of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004),” Kganyago said.
The SIU will probe the following at the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and South African Council of Educators (SACE):
- At the SACE, the investigation will focus on the procurement for and acquisition of a commercial property in East London, by the SACE and any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the SACE or the State.
- At SASSA, the SIU will seek to establish whether there was “any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by SASSA or the State or any resulting loss or damages suffered by the SASSA” in the awarding of at least five tenders.
Kganyago said the SIU will also cast a keen eye on the Newcastle Municipality with investigations into – amongst others – procurement processes, the awarding of tenders and specific probes into at least four contracts.
“Furthermore, the SIU will investigate maladministration in the affairs of the municipality in relation to contracts awarded to [government employees], payments made to fictitious employees, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred as a result of late payments made to Eskom, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred as a result of late Value Added Tax and Pay As You Earn payments to the South African Revenue Service, salary payments made to former employees after they had left the employ of the municipality, including the causes of such maladministration,” he said.
The investigation will also probe alleged “serious, improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees” at the municipality.