Ramaphosa: Law enforcement empowered to probe ‘unconscionable’ Covid-19 tender corruption

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa says law enforcement agencies are empowered to tackle allegations of corruption in Covid-19 tenders.
  • The president has described it as unconscionable that there are people who may be using the crisis to unlawfully enrich themselves.
  • DA interim leader John Steenhuisen called on Ramaphosa to answer questions in Parliament about “the feeding frenzy over Covid-19-related tenders”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was unconscionable that there are people who may be using the Covid-19 crisis to unlawfully enrich themselves.

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Ramaphosa, who made the remarks in a press statement on Saturday night, also announced that he had given support to law enforcement agencies to investigate all allegations of corruption involved in the awarding of tenders related to Covid-19.

This comes as media reports revealed that several companies that scored millions in contracts to provide services for the Gauteng health department, were allegedly run by relatives of ANC heavyweights.

Ramaphosa said: “We have empowered our law enforcement to investigate all reports of alleged corruption and irregularities in the procurement of medical and other supplies. It is unconscionable that there are people who may be using this health crisis to unlawfully enrich themselves.”

The statement comes in the wake of reports that Royal Bhaca projects, a company owned by Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband, Chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko, received a R125 million personal protective equipment (PPE) tender from the Gauteng health department. 

The Daily Maverick also reported that the companies of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s sons Tshepiso and Thato, collectively raked in nearly R3m from the Free State treasury.

Leave of absence

The publication also reported that former minister Nomvula Mokonyane’s daughter Katleho received a R2.7m tender to supply soap to Gauteng’s health department.

While Ramaphosa’s son Andile was involved in a R6 million project to install safety features in taxis, the money did not come from the state, but through a private partnership with FNB, according to the Sunday Times.

Khusela Diko has since taken a leave of absence following the allegations, amid public outrage. Pressure continues to mount on the ANC and Ramaphosa to act firmly against those implicated.

This week the DA’s interim leader John Steenhuisen called on Ramaphosa to answer questions in Parliament about what he called “the feeding frenzy over Covid-19-related tenders”.

Steenhuisen challenged Ramaphosa to “come and answer for the behaviour of his party’s members and set out exactly how he intends to act against each and every implicated individual”.

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