Date: Jun 4, 2021 Type: Country:

South Africa: Swift action must be taken against those involved in COVID-19 corruption

Amnesty International is calling for swift and prompt action to be taken against those involved in COVID-19 corruption.

This after reports that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has referred more than 100 cases of personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption to the National Prosecuting Authority for possible prosecution and continuing to investigate many more cases.

Amnesty International South Africa Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed said: “It is concerning that we continue to see this type of corruption taking place unabated even in the midst of a health crisis and a global pandemic. The money lost to corruption should have been used to ensure the right to health by capacitating hospitals to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, securing sufficient oxygen supplies and ensuring  that there are enough vaccines to inoculate the country.”

“Corruption continues to affect the basic human rights of people living in South Africa who are entitled to access to health care services, which is a basic human right guaranteed by the Constitution.”

“Law enforcement agencies and the justice system must ensure that those who are found guilty of corruption are held accountable and brought to book, no matter who they are,” Mohamed said.

BACKGROUND: 

The SABC reported that SIU head Andy Mothibi told parliament this week that his unit is investigating corruption allegations of more than R14-billion. So far the SIU has handed more than 100 cases over to the NPA for possible prosecution.

Mothibi, said the SIU was investigating more than 4,100 cases, which involved just over 200 service providers. It has so far concluded 40% of these investigations.

The National institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) this week reportedly said there has been an increase in hospital admissions, ICU utilisations as well as deaths. It said four provinces – the Northern Cape, Free State, North West and Gauteng – had already entered the third wave.

-ENDS-

For more information or to request an interview please call Amnesty International South Africa’s Media and Communications Officer Genevieve Quintal on +27 64 890 9224 or email genevieve.quintal@amnesty.org.za