South Africa: R2k Statement On Alleged Covid-19 Tender Corruption in Gauteng

press release

Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development and further exacerbates inequality. It constitutes dishonest and fraudulent conduct by those in power.

R2K is deeply concerned and abhorred by the numerous reports that allege corruption in the tender scandal involving the Gauteng Health Department. The information available at this stage indicates that, like so many other examples across the country, a sizeable tender for personal protective equipment (PPE) was compromised due to it being channelled to connected political friends and family members, in this case involving Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, his wife and her friend's husband, King Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko.

We commend the announcement by the Gauteng Provincial Government that those who are implicated have been asked to step aside from their positions while the matter is being investigated. However, we are concerned that as has been the case with many other investigations into corruption conducted by the ANC as well as law enforcement agencies, this one will also be compromised by political considerations. We call on those public institutions tasked with both investigating and prosecuting corruption to engage their work in this and all other cases, without fear or favour and in service to the people of South Africa.

We are seriously concerned that the so-called 'Thuma Mina' era is rapidly turning out to be little different from the corruption-riddled Zuma era where the public purse is used to enrich connected elites, fight factional battles within the ANC and to deprive ordinary citizens of the goods and services that are rightfully theirs.

What this latest round of corruption so clearly reveals is that the ANC as the ruling party still does not have the organisational or political will to do the right thing. We have seen how we cannot rely on either the internal processes of the ANC or compromised public institutions to confront and curb corruption, as witnessed in the Free State housing and Estina Dairy corruption scandals involving the present Secretary General of ANC, Ace Magashule.

We call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to be true to his promises about fighting corruption and ensure that all investigations are carried out thoroughly and without political interference. Further, if the evidence finds that any individual, no matter what political or other position they hold, is involved, then to ensure they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

During these hugely difficult and extraordinary times, when so many in our country are suffering and putting their lives on the line, it is even more imperative that any and all corruption must be exposed, halted and for those responsible to pay the price

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