South Africa: 20 cases of corruption with COVID-19 cash payments are being investigated

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a wide-ranging bribery investigation as the country with the world’s fifth-largest number of COVID-19 cases prepares for more infections, ABC reported. 

It was created to deal with claims of dishonest officials, and private companies plunder a huge pool of money spent on protecting the country’s 57 million people.

“More than at any other time, corruption puts our lives at risk,” Ramaphosa said in a national address.

He said food for the poor, personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and grants for those who lost their jobs after the pandemic were affected by corruption.

South Africa is considered the most prepared of all sub-Saharan African countries for COVID-19, but years of rampant corruption have weakened institutions, including the health system.

In October, the head of the government’s special investigation team said that fraud, embezzlement and abuse in the health sector negate $ 3.2 billion a year.

The unit is already investigating more than 20 cases of alleged corruption related to COVID-19 payments.

There are currently more than 434,000 confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa, more than half of the total number of cases in Africa, and more than 6,600 deaths, while a new report suggests that the number of actual deaths may be higher.

In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the government suspended officials allegedly involved in purchases with an inflated price of up to $ 3.4 million. Personal protective equipment and blankets for the poor.

Early reported that South Africa’s special investigative unit (SIU) is investigating corruption in the 500 billion rands aid Fund set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa back in April. This Fund was intended to combat the spread of COVID-19 and compensate for heavy economic losses as a result of blocking.