Gauteng govt places 9 officials on suspension following SIU referral

Nine senior officials in the Gauteng government were placed on precautionary suspension.

The AngloGold Ashanti Hospital.

The AngloGold Ashanti Hospital. Gauteng Government/Twitter

The Gauteng provincial government placed nine senior officials on precautionary suspension on the recommendation of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

The said officials from the Department of Health and the Department of Infrastructure Development were suspended in connection with serious irregularities uncovered by the SIU in the awarding of contracts for the refurbishment of AngloGold Ashanti Hospital in the West Rand.

“The SIU has, in terms of a proclamation issued by President Cyril Ramaphosa in August 2020, been investigating allegations of irregularities and maladministration in the procurement of goods and services related to the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

On December 2021, the SIU made referrals to the Gauteng provincial government to institute disciplinary action against the nine senior managers who were implicated in irregularities in the awarding of contractors for the refurbishment of the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital, which was one of the hospitals earmarked for the treatment of Covid-19,” the provincial government said in a statement on Sunday.

However, in June, City Press reported that not a single patient had been admitted to the facility due to a shortage of healthcare workers, specifically nurses.

READ | SIU freezes R7.9m from companies’ irregularly’ awarded tenders to refurbish Gauteng hospital

Of the nine officials, three senior managers in the Department of Health and six senior managers in the Department of Infrastructure Development were served with letters of suspension.

Disciplinary proceedings are expected to commence as soon as charges are finalised.

The provincial government commended the SIU for its ongoing investigation and civil action to recover public funds.

“The Gauteng provincial government continues to forge ahead with the fight against fraud and corruption, and the drive to build a culture of integrity and ethics among public officials, public servants, businesspeople and civil society,” the statement reads.

The provincial government further said it had strengthened control systems to prevent fraud and corruption as well as improved capacity to detect, investigate and take appropriate action against staff, referring matters for criminal investigation, and initiating processes to recover stolen money.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was not immediately available for comment.

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