BREAKING | Correctional Services CFO fired over PPE scandal

Correction Services chief financial officer (CFO), Dzivhuluwani Ligege, who allegedly awarded personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts worth R53-million to companies owned by friends and family, was this week fired along with the director of procurement.

Singabakho Nxumalo, the spokesperson for the department, confirmed to Sunday World on Friday that Ligege and procurement director T.V. Netshimbupfe were found guilty and dismissed after a disciplinary hearing.

“The department is able to confirm that three senior managers were charged and underwent an internal disciplinary hearing process for non-compliance with prescripts related to the procurement of personal protective equipment for the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Nxumalo.

Contracts given to family and friends

He added that the third official, a director for logistics, “was found not guilty and is back at work”.

“Two officials, the chief financial officer and director for procurement, were found guilty with a dismissal sanction,” Nxumalo said, adding that the disciplinary process followed a Special Investigation Unit [SIU] probe into the matter.

In August 2022, an anonymous complaint claimed that Ligege had given PPE contracts totaling over R53-million to friends’ and family’s businesses.

This information was presented to parliament by the SIU in November of the same year.

According to the SIU, there were 25 contracts worth over R46-million that were handled dubiously.

Investigation concluded

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago informed Sunday World on Friday that the agency has concluded its investigation into this matter.

The SIU disclosed to parliament in 2020 that it was looking into 930 cases involving national, provincial, and local government departments related to PPE corruption in South Africa.

It was reported that 5 054 contracts, awarded to 2 686 service providers, were under investigation.

The Special Tribunal had granted orders to the value of R174.5-million and had set aside contracts worth R170.41-million, preventing losses to the state.

The unit stated that it was investigating R10.5-billion out of the R15.6-billion that the government had spent on Covid-19 from April to August 2020.

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