South Africa investigates corruption of $290 million

On August 19, the head of the Special Investigation Unit in South Africa announced that the country’s authorities are investigating cases of corruption in government departments for graft over irregularities in coronavirus-related tenders worth 5 billion rand ($ 290 million).

The figure is likely to add to pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling African National Congress, who have struggled to deflect criticism from alliance partners and opposition parties as allegations of corruption implicated senior ANC politicians, Reuters reports.

Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced his controversial predecessor Jacob Zuma in 2017 with promises to root out corruption, has fought to prevent corruption crimes linked to the fight against COVID-19. At the same time, South Africa ranks fifth in the world in terms of the number of coronavirus infections – 596 thousand people.

In a presentation to a parliamentary committee, Andy Mothibi, head of the Special Investigation Unit, said South African authorities were investigating 658 cases nationwide involving just over 5 billion rand ($ 290 million).

The charges relate to purchases of personal protective equipment, hospitals and quarantine sites, catering services in the form of food parcels, ventilators, disinfecting equipment and motorised wheelchairs, according to Mothibi.