EFF calls for harsher punishment for Covid-19 looters

EFF members. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

EFF members. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers.

Published Feb 24, 2024


The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng have described the African National Congress (ANC) as been steadfast on its quest to squander public money.

This is as the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found that there was unlawful procurement of personal protective equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic in Gauteng amounting to R113.2 million.

The party’s spokesperson, Naledi Chirwa, said it came as no surprise that more and more tenders were being overturned and found unlawful by the SIU.

“This is because the ANC government has always been resolute on theft, corruption, and blatant thuggery while compromising the lives of our people.”

The Chief Financial Officer of the Gauteng Department of Health sought to procure 500,000 N95 masks at R55.50 each, 1,000,000 three-ply surgical masks at R18.00 each, and 250,000 boxes of 100 sterile surgical gloves at R270 per box.

These prices were highly inflated in the interest of corruption and theft, and furthermore, the procurement procedure wasn’t followed, thus the SIU found that LNG, the company that received the tender, wasn’t even registered on the government’s central supplier database for the supply of PPE.

She said the party called for further investigations into the heist that took place in the Department of Health stemming from the tenure of former MEC Bandile Masuku in the year 2020.

Chirwa said it was not enough that the culprit were only asked to pay back the money that was stolen.

“It is an obvious fact that whilst people were withering away to Covid-19 in 2020, ANC deployees were abusing their positions of power to gain monetary benefits at the cost of people’s lives.

“If justice was a true sentiment on the grounding of the ANC-led democracy, cases such as these would amount to murder as the cost of this theft was life itself.”

This behavioural pattern is prevalent to date under the leadership of MEC Nomantu Nkomo Ralehoko and Premier Panyaza Lesufi, who continue to exploit the health needs of the people of Gauteng for personal benefit under the guise of business agreements with the province.

“The residents of Gauteng carry a big task in this monumental year, to rid our political offices of criminals who masquerade as politicians when they steal from the poor and sick”.

Chirwa said it was high time that Gauteng residents corrected the political problems with political solutions as they are heading towards the National and Provincial Elections on the 29th of May 2024.

“The call to vote for the Economic Freedom Fighters grounds our aspirations towards total emancipation from the corrupt and uncaring government of the ANC”.

Recently the department has been in the news for spending an estimated R1.7 million by 11 Gauteng public hospitals for what the Democratic Alliance (DA) described as overpriced food.

The DA’s health spokesperson, Jack Bloem, said the provincial government was procuring the services from a business training company in Limpopo.

“This is revealed by Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to my follow-up questions in the Gauteng Legislature as to why a fishy Limpopo contract is being used that includes companies not registered to sell food,” Bloem revealed at the time.

He said it was strange that the department piggybacked on a company that was on the food list for a Limpopo Health Department contract.

“Other fishy companies on the list that have sold a wide variety of groceries to Gauteng hospitals include NM Motors and Workshop, Madics Security and Projects, and Musa Security Care.”

Bloem said the department had acknowledged that it was procuring things like fresh vegetables, chicken breast and wings, milk, cheese and yoghurt, using the Limpopo contract.

Saturday Star

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