The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha’s announcement to request the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate Covid-19 procurement corruption.
The party is concerned about the Premier’s delayed response to the corruption on the procurement of tenders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We would suggest that it is mere lip service and not done in earnest,” said DA.
Mathabatha has called on SIU to specifically investigate the COGHSTA in regard to the infamous Talana low-cost housing units in Tzaneen and the Department of Health and Education.
However, the DA has been calling for the investigation of these procurement processes for weeks now.
In addition, they requested Premier Mathabatha and the Provincial Command Council to be transparent in the way COVID-19 funds are utilised, to no avail.
“We have repeatedly warned against the misappropriation of COVID-19 funds and the serious implications it will have on the long term recovery of the province’s finances,” the statement reads.
According to DA, Mathabatha consented to the proclamation of President Ramaphosa that the SIU must investigate the whole procurement regime. They added that which in itself seems like a vague and insurmountable request.
Mathabatha should have mandated all members of his executive to fully cooperate during this investigation.
“The Department of Health was marred with numerous claims and reports of flouted procurement processes, use of suppliers not on the provincial database, undue influence and interference by MEC Ramathuba as well as senior management and corrupt activities around the province’s PPE contracts.”
DA has requested Premier Mathabatha to place the MEC for Health, Phophi Ramathuba on special leave.
“We are convinced that her presence will cause impediments to the investigation,” said the party.