Three months ago, many Africa governments were caught offside on preparedness to combat the spread of coronavirus. During the process, many countries have received Covid relief funds worth billions of money from donors. Some of these funds were used to feed the most affected families, create awareness about the virus, BUT a considerable part of it went to individual pockets. While the virus is not over, it is already open in the air that this money did not do their intended purpose and disgracefully went to top government officials’ pockets. This article will shed light on Covid-19 graft in South Africa.
South Africa Covid-19 graft
The African National Congress (ANC) in the past few weeks has been criticized following reports of corruption during the coronavirus pandemic. The state investigators are probing malpractices in top government tenders worth 5 billion rands ($297) that trace to individual pockets.
South Africa’s ruling party, top leaders, decided at a weekend meeting that the party members charged with corruption. And other serious irregularities must step aside from their offices, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
An official statement read out on Monday by President Ramaphosa ordered the party official members found with a graft to immediately vacate their party positions in the parliament and other government bodies as they wait for the result of their cases.
The ANC will devise a method for leaders where they can make steady statements of financial interests. The mechanism will state guidelines that will monitor ANC leaders and their families performing business with government and public entities. The president and the party leader said he had set up an executive committee to probe alleged corruption in the state offers this month.
Corruption cases in the country
Cases of corruption have been reported in the country between government officials and businesses. These include contracts on providing medical equipment, relief food meant to the poor, and research projects that have taken public money and donations.
South Africa’s anti-corruption commission said early last month that it was investigating corruption deals around the contracts with the current ones involving top government found in high profile grafts.
The healthcare workers and health unions say corruption is contributing to poor health delivery of services, poor work conditions, which put patients’ lives at risk.
While the government has specifically allocated contracts to business providers for personal protection equipment, this equipment has seen its prices going high. In other cases, the ordered equipment is not delivered, or the contracts have been given to companies and people with government connections. Mostly these contracts face irregularities, which result in enormous scandals in the country.
Corruption involving government top officials
The government Special Investigating Unit (SUI) said 102 companies are under investigation in the province of Gauteng. In other parts of the country, officials have been forced to leave the office to give room for investigations. However, no leader has been charged guilty of prosecuted on any of the aforementioned corruption deals.
“It’s difficult to put numbers on it because the stories are still coming out. Unfortunately, because of the lack of having good protection and preventive measures in place, we may only know of the extent of the looting six or eight months down the line,”
Karam Singh, lead of legal and investigations at Corruption Watch.
An example of top government corruption scandals was Ramaphosa’s chief spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, involving her husband, Thandisizwe. His company was accused last month of taking a government contract worth $7 million to supply PPE through his close government connections. Diko left office, and she and her husband denied breaking any laws and, therefore, not charge for the scandal.
In conclusion, corruption scandals are drawbacks that hinder the effective combat of the virus in the country. COVID-19 graft has also been seen in other African countries, for example, Kenya, where covid millionaires have emerged from stealing millions of donor’s money to individual pockets. As it is said, delayed justice is denied justice, the graft officials should be questioned, and strict measures are taken to end corruption, especially during this pandemic period.