SIU to probe alleged corruption with COVID-19 funds

SIU to probe alleged corruption with COVID-19 funds

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating dozens of alleged corruption cases involving theft or misappropriation of funds earmarked to fight the coronavirus pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

Cyril Ramaphosa tasks SIU to probe Covid-19 corruption

The special investigating team had been set up to look into "allegations of corruption in areas such as the distribution of food parcels, social relief grants, the procurement of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies," he said.

"At least 36 cases are currently at various stages of investigation and prosecution," the president said in a special address to the nation. 

In April, the government announced an unprecedented R500 billion economic stimulus and social relief package to cushion the impact of coronavirus.

READ: Ramaphosa: Schools to close for four weeks

But some of those funds have been stolen, misused or relief food aid has been diverted from households in need. 

He vowed that all alleged corruption cases would be "thoroughly investigated", culprits prosecuted and the stolen money recovered.

Corruption involving state assets worsened during the nine-year tenure of former president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was forced to resign in February 2018 over graft scandals and Ramaphosa took over vowing to tackle corruption.

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