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Scopa chairperson warns government against corruption during COVID-19

7 April 2020 12:26 PM
Tags:
SCOPA
Corruption
Coronavirus
COVID-19
Mkhuleko Hlengwa has expressed his concerns about the potential corrupt activities that may occur amidst the coronavirus.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa has expressed his concerns about the potential corruption that may occur amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, saying a recent report by City Press does not come as a surprise.

At the weekend, City Press published a report about how due process may have been flouted by the Gauteng government in the awarding of a big information technology (IT) contract worth R30 million.

The contract to provide Gauteng’s e-government department with IT services, including cybersecurity, is said to have been concluded within 24 hours after MEC for finance and e-government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko requested permission from Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for a deviation from following normal procurement processes.

Commenting on the report in an interview with Eusebius McKaiser on Tuesday, Hlengwa issued out a warning to government entities.

We are in contact with National Treasury and asking them to look at this. Primarily, it should have been a provincial Scopa matter but the moment it touched the Ministry of Communications at a national level, we have had to have a look at it.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Scopa chair

The bottom line that is very clear from the initial allegation, is that something fundamentally wrong has happened here and so there will need to be an intervention and an investigation....

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Scopa chair

It is quite unfortunate that people are abusing the state of disaster for corrupt game.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Scopa chair

We want to issue a warning to government departments and entities, let's not do these stupid things because we are going to see right through it because among other things, Treasury has given departments and entities a list of service providers which they can go to during this time on the issues which are relevant to coronavirus ... so there is a long list of guidelines and so it is going to be very easy to pick up when people do this.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Scopa chair

Corruption Watch head of legal and investigations Karam Singh says it is important for whistle-blowers to shed light on corrupt activities.

The challenge that we are siting with is that there is so much irregular activity that goes on in the public sector but is not uncovered and, as a civil society organisation that is established to fight against corruption and root out corruption, we are completely dependent upon courageous people within the public sector coming forward and blowing the whistle.

Karam Singh, Head of Legal and Investigations - Corruption Watch

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


7 April 2020 12:26 PM
Tags:
SCOPA
Corruption
Coronavirus
COVID-19

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