South Africa to Probe COVID-19 Funds Misappropriation

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered an investigation into allegations of misappropriation of Covid-19 funds.

He announced the probe during a Parliament session on Thursday, and described the officials and companies involved as “vultures”.

“I have authorized the Special Investigating Unit to probe any allegations relating to the misuse of COVID-19 funds across all spheres of the state,” Ramaphosa said.

In a presentation to a parliamentary committee last week, Andy Mothibi, head of the SIU, said the allegations involved the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), hospital and quarantine sites, catering services (food parcels), ventilators, disinfecting equipment and motorized wheelchairs.

Funds have also allegedly been embezzled through Covid-19 awareness campaigns.

The country’s National Treasury has taken steps to tighten procurement regulations, Ramaphosa said.

South Africa is the hardest-hit country on the continent, with over 13,000 dead and more than 600,000 cases.

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