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South African investigators find $137 million corruption in COVID-19 contracts

South African investigators have uncovered $137 million worth of corruption and fraud in government contracts related to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Reuters agency, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the investigation into his government’s spending on fighting COVID-19 following a wave of public outrage.

The Special Investigating Unit prepared the 700-page report on corruption in government contracts. Investigators found violations in 2,803 contracts where personal protective equipment was overpriced, procurement rules flouted and services not delivered despite money being paid.

The Unit referred 224 officials in government departments for action.

South Africa leads the African continent in terms of COVID-19 cases and deaths.