Looting of SA Solidarity Fund
The R500 billion Covid-19 solidarity fund announced in April for economic relief during the national lockdown has received multiple allegations of fraud and corruption, which are currently under investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). The unit is dealing 45 health sector related cases that are at an advance stage with amounts to more than R3 billion.
The National COVID-19 proclamation would consolidate allegations of corruption relating to the R500 billion relief fund into one investigation, Kaizer Kganyago, SUI spokesperson confirms. “When we have the proclamation we do not need to wait for a proclamation for each and every case. When an allegation comes, we can go immediately and investigate it.”
Other cases being investigated are municipality scandals concerning; e-governance, food parcels and fraudulent door-to-door awareness campaigns. The UIF are currently involved in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court over a money laundering scam and SASSA after complaints on social media, blamed an out-of-date database for rejecting 85% of grant cases which were deemed not to qualify, which actually qualified.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, said the proclamation is being processed with urgency and will help stop corruption before it occurs in real-time and should have been submitted to the Minister of Justice last week. In a national address on the evening of Thursday July 23, President Ramaphosa announced he had signed the proclamation. The multi-agency centre to investigate and prosecute COVID-19 corruption includes Hawks, NPA, SAPS, IPID and the Financial Intelligence Centre. Is there any hope left in the battle against corruption in SA?