The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it will institute a civil suit to have five personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts worth some R273.5 million reviewed and set aside in the Special Tribunal.
This after four members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) appeared at the Military Court on allegations of corruption related to the contracts.
The suspects are Lieutenant Dimakatso Modise, Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Seadimo Peu, Captain Mbomolelo Avroline Tshikosi and Leading Seaman Suzen Jiane.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the four are facing charges of corruption and fraud related to the procurement of items such as masks and gloves between May and August 2020.
He said an investigation by the SIU has revealed that the contracts were awarded irregularly.
“Evidence from the SIU probe shows that the list of service providers was predetermined and some of the PPE items were delivered before approval, thus deviating from normal supply chain management processes.
“Furthermore, the SIU investigation revealed that the procurement process followed by the SANDF to procure PPE related items was not fair, transparent, equitable, competitive, or cost effective and thus contravened the provisions of Section 217(1) of the Constitution,” Kganyago said.
He explained that the investigation was mandated by proclamation made by President Cyril Ramaphosa to “investigate the affairs of all State institutions in respect of the procurement or contracting for goods, works and services, during, or in respect of the National State of Disaster” during the height of the pandemic.
“The appearance of Modise, Peu, Tshikosi and Jiane is a continuation of the implementation of the SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover assets and financial losses suffered by State institutions and to prevent further losses, and to hold them accountable.
“The SIU will institute a civil action in the Special Tribunal to review and set aside the contracts, and to recover financial losses suffered by the State and SANDF as result of corruption and negligence,” Kganyago said.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)