The first arrests for alleged fraud with Covid-19 tenders could happen as early as Tuesday, the Hawks announced during a meeting of parliament’s standing committee.
The inter-ministerial task force tasked with investigating corruption during the isolation period, together with key role players in law enforcement, provided feedback on progress in their investigations into penalizing those who acted corruptly during that time.
The commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Edward Kieswetter, said that there is an enormous amount of tax evasion and that the most important and biggest issues are currently being identified for prioritization.
So far, about 300 cases amounting to R307 million are being investigated. There are 139 companies under investigation and about 60% of the R1.2 billion contracts have been awarded to people with political ties or their immediate family and friends. A total of 17 such individuals were identified.
ŉ Large variety of enterprises with no history in the manufacture of medical protective clothing have obtained contracts for their supply.
These include pubs, information technology companies, a car wash, a bakery and a business that organizes events.
The Office of the Auditor-General (AG), Kimi Makwetu, will meanwhile release the first auditors’ reports on corruption during the isolation period by the middle of next month.
Makwetu said after announcing the government’s R500 billion economic stimulus package, his office took steps to start auditing immediately, rather than waiting until the end of the financial year, as is customary.
The AG’s office has already audited all expenses until the end of July, he said.
The ministerial task force will report back to the presidency every six weeks on its progress, with the first report to be submitted in the first week of September.