Non-profit advocacy organisation Right2Know Campaign (R2K) will hold a peaceful picket on Saturday, outside the Department of Health office, in Johannesburg, in a show of dismay against coronavirus (Covid-19) corruption.
Despite government spending R10-billion to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, R2K says many have died owing to lack of PPEs, while others have not received their monthly stipends.
“The SIU [Special Investigating Unit] said in Gauteng alone it was investigating 90 companies used to procure PPE; 30 companies used to procure medical equipment and 32 companies for services related to catering, flights, accommodation, counselling sessions for staff, among other services. This is concerning to the R2K Campaign as we indicated in our previous statements. We committed to examine and advocate for greater transparency and access to procurement and budgeting processes. This is particularly important for meaningful engagement and open society,” it said.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura placed the head of the Gauteng Department of Health Professor Mkhululi Lukhele on precautionary leave following the SIU recommendations, after he was found to have failed to exercise his responsibilities in awarding the contracts to certain companies.
R2K said it was concerned that this has not landed Lukhele in prison and said those who colluded with him, in the private and public sectors, should be declared delinquent.
“We reiterate our call for implicated members of the government to be suspended and arrested. We demand that there should not be political influence in dealing with PPE corruption. While the ANC [African National Congress] has extended the fate of Bandile Masuku and Khusela Diko, both influential figures in the PEC [Provincial Executive Committee], we will never rest until we see all corrupt politicians see their day in court. Scapegoating and hiding behind corrupted officials and thereafter redeploying them in a different function must come to an end,” R2K said.