Monday, 15 February 2021

Pretoria: The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has rejected with contempt allegations that it is selective in the cases it chooses to investigate.

This comes as the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in Limpopo last week accused the SIU of being selective in its investigation of state entities in the province, political selectivity in its operations, contravening its Constitutional mandate and the terms of reference of the Presidential Proclamation R23 of 2020.

The allegations followed revelations contained in the Unit’s report into finalised investigations and outcomes on the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment procurement by State institutions.

Rejecting the allegations in a statement issued at the weekend, the SIU described the claims as baseless, misleading and aimed at tarnishing its work.

The SIU’s COVID-19 report contained finalised investigations and outcomes.

“[We] made it very clear to South Africans that the Unit is investigating a total of 2556 contracts, of which 164 contracts valued at R3.5 billion are completed; investigations into 1541 contracts worth more than R6.8 billion is currently underway; and investigations into 851 contracts to the value of R2.9 billion are yet to commence,” reads the state statement. The SIU reiterates that it has not submitted a final report yet.

“The report released on the 5th February 2021 only accounts to 26% and it is only for investigations that are finalised,” it adds.

The Unit said it was clear that SANCO did not read the report released by its head, Advocate Andy Mothibi. The document is available on the SIU website for public consumption.

“The SIU would like to bring it to the attention of SANCO that the SIU investigations are allegations based and its findings evidence based. The SIU will never investigate allegations selectively,” the unit said.

Assertions of the SIU being “political selectivity in its operations” were also rejected, with the unit vowing to continue with the execution of its mandate, investigate, make findings based on evidence and pursue all those responsible to hold them to account without fear, favour or prejudice.

“The SIU further rejects the assertion that ‘political pressure played a role in determining which corrupt cases moved forward and which were set aside’. The SIU views this statement as baseless and as an attempt to divert us from the work at hand. We will not be deterred from serving this country with integrity,” the Unit said.

Reads the statement: “We will never be swayed by any form of pressure and SIU places premium on the value of integrity with which all its work is performed. The SIU Limpopo Team is led capably and has worked hard to ensure that the allegations reported are investigated with integrity. The SIU calls on the people of Limpopo to report all acts of corruption so that all those responsible are identified and caused to account for their wrong doing. SANCO should also report allegations that they are aware of and the SIU will investigate without fear, favour or prejudice”.

“No amount of misinformation or any kind of undue pressure will deter the SIU from doing its work. The SIU COVID-19 corruption and maladministration allegations investigations are ongoing and we call on all members of the public to report the allegations to the SIU.”