The Eastern Cape government has requested an investigation into an alleged Covid 19 awareness campaign of R4.8 million in one of the district municipalities.
Two invoices were recently circulated on social media demanding around R3 million and R1.8 million, respectively, from the OR Tambo district municipality. This is apparently for work delivered in the form of a door-to-door campaign on Covid-19.
The invoices by Phathilizwi Training Institution for May during the Level 4 restriction for work done in Port St. Johns, Mhlontlo and Nyandeni.
Oscar Mabuyane, Premier for the Eastern Cape, described the campaign as “very suspicious” at a media conference in Bhisho on Tuesday.
He has already made a request to the President that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) determine whether the invoices are genuine, paid and whether any work has ever been done.
“I’m also glad the HAWKS are investigating the issue at the grassroots level. The MEC for Collaborative Governance and Traditional Affairs is also investigating the matter, ”Mabuyane said.
DA councilors from the municipality filed a complaint of fraud and corruption at the Madeira police station in Mthatha on Saturday.
According to Sithembiso Mabasa, DA chairperson of the OR Tambo region, the so-called campaign was not included in the municipality’s Covid 19 progress reports. He also thinks the attendance registers that were submitted with the invoices for payment are suspect.
“According to our own investigation, people’s names simply appear to have been placed on the register. One of the people on the list says he was at a different place on the date in question than when he was allegedly visited. “
Unanswered questions to the municipal manager resulted in Mabasa filing a case with the police.
“It is only through an investigation that the truth will be revealed.”
However, Mabasa was uncertain whether the nearly R5 million was actually paid out by the district municipality.
District Municipality spokeswoman Mntuwoxolo Ngudle did not respond to any inquiries after more than a day and later only said the mayor will hold a media conference on Thursday, which will be one of the discussion points for the campaign.