President Cyril Ramaphosa
- Four new Special Commercial Crimes Courts will be
established to deal with cases of Covid-19-related corruption.
- Sars is investigating estimated tax revenue losses
of R300 million.
- The SIU is looking into 1 274 contracts.
Four new Special Commercial Crimes Courts will be
established to deal with cases of Covid-19-related corruption, President Cyril
Ramaphosa announced in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.
In response to a question from ANC MP Maurencia
Gillion, Ramaphosa said the government had “responded swiftly and
decisively to allegations of corruption in the awarding of Covid-19-related
He added the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was
currently looking into 932 cases under the proclamation issued in July and all
were at different stages of investigation.
“The SIU has, to date, provided me with two
interim reports which outline the progress in the investigations, including
where investigations have been finalised.”
The reports of SIU investigations will be made public once all the necessary processes have been completed and there is no risk of jeopardising ongoing investigations.
Ramaphosa said the SA Revenue Service (Sars) had
established a Covid-19 project team to investigate and audit cases.
At the end of September, there were 307 cases with
an estimated tax revenue loss of R300 million and 139 companies were referred
for potential tax evasion investigations.
“The rise in serious commercial crimes and
incidents of Covid-19 procurement corruption has meant that we are
fast-tracking the establishment of additional Special Commercial Crimes Courts
and increasing the capacity of existing ones.”
SIU knows ‘what is at stake’
“We are looking to establish additional
Special Commercial Crimes Courts in Polokwane, Mbombela, Mahikeng, Mthatha and
Mangaung,” he added.
DA MP Tim Brauteseth asked him for an update on the
“The Special Investigating Unit has made
progress in their investigations since the proclamation was issued on 23 July
2020,” said Ramaphosa.
“The SIU is currently investigating 1 274
contracts from 85 departments, provinces, municipalities and public entities.
“To date, it has referred 34 criminal matters
to the National Prosecuting Authority, and 33 disciplinary referrals to state
The SIU has instituted cases in the Special Tribunal for cancellation of contracts to the value of R223 million and the recovery of funds.
“The investigations are ongoing. As I
indicated earlier, the reports of SIU will be made public once all the
necessary processes have been completed and there is no risk of jeopardising
Ramaphosa commended the SIU for its outstanding
work under difficult conditions.
“They know what is at stake. It is the ethos
of our country, that is what is at stake,” he added.
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