Personal protective equipment corruption akin to murder, says South African President

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has compared those linked to Covid-19 personal protective equipment corruption to murderers, Sunday Times reports.

Speaking to members of the South African National Editors Forum, Ramaphosa noted that prices for some PPE have skyrocketed by more than 800%.

– I’ve often asked myself what gets into somebody’s head that a mask that would ordinarily cost 2 or 3 rand ($ 0.12 – $ 0.18), is now sold at 90 rand ($ 5.37), – the president said.

Ramaphosa focused on the fact that illegal price increases of PPE are a crime and akin to murder.

The head of state also said a “line would be drawn” to disallow the tender system from being taken advantage of to make excessive profits “from a disaster such as the one we are going through now”.

Ramaphosa replied to the question about the start of an investigation of those involved in corruption that there were quite a number of people who were being investigated.

In turn, Sbu Ngalwa, chairman of the South African National Editors Forum, expressed concern about the treatment of journalists in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Thus, South African journalist Paula Ntoba was harassed by local police. Editor Sophie Mokoena and anchor Peter Ndoro of the SABC news agency were abused by officials linked to the Zimbabwe African National Union.

In addition, the South African National Editors Forum is working with the South African Police Service on a memorandum of understanding which will arm journalists and the police as well on what they need to do and how to conduct themselves at crime scenes.