Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SIU public sector graft investigations total R113bn, excluding R14bn for Covid procurement cases

The R113-billion case value that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is currently probing outside of the contentious Covid-19 corruption has highlighted the spectre of public sector graft in the country. 

Meanwhile, the SIU announced on Thursday that it was granted, by the special tribunal, a preservation order valued at R40.7-million and was also allowed to freeze the bank accounts and assets of 14 service providers related to alleged Covid-19 corruption in the Gauteng department of education

The service providers, the SIU added, were contracted by the provincial education department to decontaminate schools at the staggering value of R431-million. 

“The action follows an investigation into allegations of unlawful procurement of services by the education department to decontaminate, disinfect and sanitise schools,” the SIU asserted, saying that R30-million was recovered with the assistance of the Financial Intelligence Centre. 

It said the assets seized include two Mercedes Benz V Class vehicles, a Landrover Range Rover Sport, Haval H6, and Toyota Avanza. 

However, at a virtual press briefing on Thursday, SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi revealed that, outside of the R14.2-billion in Covid-19 procurement probes, R113-billion of the valued corruption probes was from the public sector. 

National and provincial governments and departments, as well as state-owned entities, bodies and agencies, account for R101-billion of the R113-billion.

The worst performing province was Limpopo, which has 218 graft cases being probed with the value of R1.9-billion. 

In its 2019/20 annual report, the SIU said it had recovered R346-million for the state and prevented a further R400-million in potential losses that would have been incurred. 

In February, Mothibi said the SIU was gunning for R259-million through civil litigation for Covid-19-related corruption. 

On Thursday, responding to a question from the Mail & Guardian, Mothibi said the SIU recovered about R120-million of the R259-million. 

“But the R259-million [for Covid-19 civil litigation] has grown since February. We will be providing updated figures soon,” Mothibi said. 

He had earlier told the briefing that there had been an improvement in the collection of monies through civil litigation, adding that the SIU would look to ramp this up, as well as ensuring arrests were made. 

“We have now entered into an agreement with the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority]  and the Hawks, where we all seek to attend [to this corruption] speedily. We are happy that the NPA leadership and the Hawks leadership are coming to the party” 

Mothibi emphasised that, even though up to 85% of its work was going after public-sector procurement; “to a large extent, there are private companies that are involved in wrongdoing”. 

Mothibi said that, going forward, there would be forums in the health, local government and infrastructure-build sectors to focus on graft in those areas. 

“We need to make sure that the objectives [of fighting corruption through the forums] are met, and we publicly report quarterly on the progress,” Mothibi said.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Khaya Koko
Khaya Koko is a journalist with a penchant for reading through legal documents braving the ravages of cold court benches to expose the crooked. He writes about social justice and human-interest stories. Most importantly, he is a card-carrying member of the Mighty Orlando Pirates.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

First-of-its-kind rangeland atlas pushes for protection

Rangelands are ‘nature’s gift to humanity’, but have been overlooked, neglected

More top stories

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

MKMVA accuse top six of being factional in collapsed meeting

A defiant MKMVA has vowed it is business as usual, after a meeting with the top six ended with the military veterans being kicked out of the virtual platform

Gumede graft trial likely to begin only in July next...

The state has added racketeering to the charges faced by the former eThekwini mayor and 21 others, but logistics are likely to delay their trial until mid-2022

Nigeria’s tech community was booming. Now it’s in shock

The government’s sudden ban of Twitter could jeopardise one of the country’s most promising industries

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…