Special Investigative Unit raids KwaDukuza municipality in PPE investigation

The KwaDukuza municipal offices were raided by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) on Friday afternoon seizing documents relating to Covid-19 personal protection equipment (PPE) contracts. 

The SIU was tasked by President Cyril Ramaphosa on July 23 to scrutinise irregularities related to Covid-19 contracts across government departments and municipalities. 

A report released by the provincial government last month revealed provincial spent of more than R2 billion on procurement contracts for Covid-19.

The money was mainly for upgrades to various hospitals and facilities and for personal protective equipment (PPEs).

KDM is believed to have been the third KZN municipality raided by the SIU in recent weeks.

KDM has spent just over R4 million on PPEs between March 15 and September 11, according to a finance report tabled at council last month. 

The provincial treasury has demanded to know when orders were placed and received, the breakdown of suppliers in terms of location, the reasons why local suppliers were not used and methods of procurement.

Last month SIU head, advocate Andy Mothibi, told a parliamentary committee that they would target anyone involved in irregularities.

Mothibi said no one would be left out where there was evidence of corruption. 

In its countrywide investigation, SIU is targeting payments for goods not delivered, payments made before supplying equipment, payments to unlicensed PPE companies, duplicate payments and price inflation.

Some suppliers or service providers did not have tax clearance certificates, which are required when dealing with government.

It is alleged that legitimate goods and service providers had been ignored while companies connected to friends or politically connected individuals were given the contracts.

Last month, KZN premier Sihle Zikalala said lifestyle audits will be conducted on senior officials. 

KDM spokesperson Sipho Mkhize said they had cooperated with the SIU investigation.