PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a committee composed of several key cabinet ministers to deal with allegations of corruption around the historic R500 billion economic relief package meant to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
This follows a decision taken by Cabinet at its meeting of Wednesday this week, the Presidency announced on Thursday.
The ministerial committee comprises of the ministers in The Presidency, Finance, Police, Public Service and Administration and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).
The committee will be chaired by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola.
Ramaphosa has requested all ministers and Premiers to provide 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 president has also directed that these lists must be provided to the Committee of Ministers as a matter of urgency this week.
The committee will prepare a comprehensive report which the President intends to release as public information.
Ramaphosa warned that the consequences for those who broke the law – whether they are in the public or private sectors – would be severe.
“The people of South Africa require nothing less than full accountability from those who have been elected and appointed to serve them,” Ramaphosa said.
The Cabinet decision will support other measures to detect corrupt activities, including the proclamation signed on 23 July 2020 authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate any unlawful or improper conduct in the procurement of any goods, works and services during or related to the national state of disaster in any state institution.
In recent days, several politically connected were alleged to have benefited from the procurement of COVID-19 PPE, which saw Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku being asked to step aside from his position.
At the heart of the allegations against Masuku is a R125 million contract awarded to Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband, Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko’s Royal Bhaca projects by the provincial health department.
Masuku and his wife, City of Johannesburg shared services MMC Loyiso Masuku, who is alleged to enjoy both friendship and business ties with the Dikos, have been forced by the ANC provincial top brass to step aside as they will be subjected to the integrity commission.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)