“Government and law enforcement agencies must act promptly to bring to justice those who have been implicated in the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report on the mismanagement of funds at the National Department of Health (NDOH), and those allegedly stealing from the national health budget during the Covid-19 pandemic”, said Amnesty International South Africa’s Executive Director, Shenilla Mohamed in response to the release of the report by President Cyril Ramaphosa today.
The report found that procurement processes that resulted in a communication company, Digital Vibes, being awarded the National Health Insurance and Covid-19 media campaigns was irregular. The irregular expenditure amounted to R150 million. As a result, the NDOH incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure of between R72 million and R80 million.
“The SIU’s report on the mismanagement of funds for the national health budget during the Covid-19 pandemic, implicating a former minister, his son and his friends who according to the report ran the company, shows that while many South Africans were busy worrying about the pandemic, some high-ranking government officials were apparently cashing in from the virus.
“It is shocking that even during a major public health crisis like Covid-19 grand corruption continued unabated.
“Once again, it is the poor and marginalised who will suffer from the lack of delivery of quality healthcare and other essential public services lost to corruption, “added Mohamed.
Today, President Cyril Ramaphosa released the Special Investigating Unit’s final report into the health department’s R150 million Digital Vibes contract. The report found that the procurement process leading up to the awarding of the contract was irregular. The report recommends the prosecution of Acting Director General, Dr Anban Pillay, for alleged financial misconduct and executive action against former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT:
Sibusiso Khasa, Campaigner, Amnesty International South Africa: +27 (0) 73 4496 871; firstname.lastname@example.org