The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) will probe a controversial information technology tender issued by the Gauteng e-Government department, its spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said on Tuesday.
"We felt we needed to act swiftly."
In a statement, he said the head of the unit, advocate Andy Mothibi, met on Tuesday to consider and execute the request by Gauteng Premier David Makhura to investigate the tender.
Kganyago added the process of how the tender was awarded needed to be checked.
Parallel to that, the process of drafting a proclamation was underway and would be expedited to start a full-scale investigation once President Cyril Ramaphosa had signed it, he said.
"The SIU is mindful of the urgency that is required. We have thus recalled our members from the lockdown to be seconded as from today."
City Press reported on Sunday the Gauteng government was accused of using the cover of the coronavirus pandemic to rush through a big information technology contract without proper tender processes.
The R30 million contract to provide Gauteng's e-government department with IT services, including cybersecurity, was reportedly concluded within 24 hours.
According to the report, Gauteng Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko had requested permission from Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to deviate from normal procurement processes.
The contract was reportedly won by In2IT Technologies, the sponsor of popular football club Moroka Swallows FC. According to City Press, the award had outraged other service providers who questioned the process.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who is involved with the club, took to Twitter on Tuesday, posting a statement saying it had come to his attention a company that sponsors the team was involved in a tender dispute with the Gauteng government.
"I was not involved in this tender nor was I lobbied by the company or the Department of e-Government to support the bid."
Kindly take note of this statement ?@Moroka_Swallows? pic.twitter.com/EAqMoMhGfx-- Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) April 7, 2020
He said he had recused himself as the owner of the football club and was speaking out because "as a leader of society, our actions, publicly and privately, should not leave doubt in the minds of our people about our commitment to clean government and the need to protect state resources".