President Cyril Ramaphosa says the attempt to profit from the COVID-19 disaster is the action of scavengers. Writing in his weekly letter to the nation on Monday, Ramaphosa decried the entrenched patronage networks that enable government employees to bid for state contracts as well as other acts of corruption.
He warns that those found to have broken the law to enrich themselves through this crisis will not get to enjoy their spoils, regardless of who they are or with whom they may be connected.
President Ramaphosa says while everyone in South Africa has a right to engage in business activities, the country is faced with the real problem of families and friends of political office-bearers or public servants receiving contracts from the state.
He says this contributes to a perception and a culture of nepotism, favouritism, and abuse.
Ramaphosa says ordinary members of the public, who have an interest in doing business with the government, must also be allowed a fair chance to bid for such business opportunities, vowing that public funds, hard-earned by loyal taxpayers or philanthropic donations, will not be allowed to vanish down a black hole of corruption.
Those accused of corruption
Among those accused of corruption is Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko.
Last week, she took leave of absence from her position after claims that her husband’s company received a R125 million PPE tender through a friendship with Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku.
Masuku and his wife Loyiso, MMC in the City of Johannesburg, have also taken a leave of absence while the matter is being probed by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU)