SIU to probe OR Tambo District Municipality

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a proclamation authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe the OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape for maladministration.

According to SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, the SIU will investigate any alleged illegal conduct in the municipality.

Kganyago said the proclamation covers offences that took place between October 1 2017 and July 29 2022.

Said Kganyago in a statement on Friday: “The SIU probe into the Municipality will focus on the procurement of or contracting of strategic, technical and operational support services to the Strategic Programmes and Project Management Office of the Municipality.

“Furthermore, the SIU will investigate payments which were made in respect thereof in a manner that was not fair, equitable, transparent, competitive or cost-effective; or contrary to applicable legislation or circulars or instructions issued by the National Treasury or the relevant Provincial Treasury. The SIU investigation will also cover any unlawful, improper or irregular conduct by employees, officials or agents of the Municipality; or any other person or entity, in relation to the allegations being investigated.”

On Monday, Kganyago announced that Ramaphosa had also authorised a proclamation to probe the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport for maladministration.

“Proclamation R.76 of 2022 authorises the SIU to investigate serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the KwaZulu-Natal department of transport including the causes of such maladministration, which has led to the department incurring irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure as identified by the auditor-general of South Africa in the AGSA Final Management Report dated 31 March 2019; and the AGSA Final Management Report dated 31 March 2021,” said Kganyago at the time.

He added: “The SIU will also investigate any alleged serious, improper or unlawful conduct by employees of the department, unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money, unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon state property, intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property, offence referred to in parts or sections of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 [Act No. 12 of 2004].”

Kganyago said the SIU will have to recover any financial losses suffered by the state as a result of negligence or corruption should any of them be found guilty of maladministration.

“The SIU is mandated to institute a civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name, to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during its investigation caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration. In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during the investigation to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action,” concluded Kganyago.

Meanwhile, the president who is authorising investigations into state entitities has allegedly refused to respond to questions about his own alleged misconduct.

According to media reports, Ramaphosa appeared before the ANC Integrity Commission on Tuesday and refused to answer any questions about the theft at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

Deputy public protector Kholeka Gcaleka confirmed that Ramaphosa had missed two deadlines. He reportedly responded to the questions earlier this week, however, the answers have since been kept away from the public.

On Wednesday, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) directed party members implicated in the state capture report to surrender themselves to the integrity commission.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said this edict is in line with the party’s 54th National Conference resolution which resolved “that every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in corrupt practices [should] account to the integrity commission immediately or face disciplinary committee processes”.

Over 200 ANC members are implicated in the report, including former president Jacob Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, former premier of Gauteng Nomvula Mokonyane, former minister of public enterprises Lynne Brown, former minister of mineral resources Mosebenzi Zwane, and former state security minister David Mahlobo.

In his report, Zondo made damning findings against the ANC and its bigwigs, suggesting that the party did not only allow for state capture, but also had proceeds of corruption flowing into its coffers.

This comes as the party embarks on a transformation and renewal journey in preparation for the 2024 election.

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Also read: Ramaphosa grants SIU power to probe KZN transport department 

ANC urges culprits to surrender to party’s integrity commission

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