Johannesburg 25 February 2019: SECTION27 and Corruption Watch welcome the establishment of the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) Tribunal and the appointment of senior Judges to oversee this crucial task. This is an important and ground breaking development led by President Cyril Ramaphosa which demonstrates the government’s commitment to addressing corruption in a meaningful way.

David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, commented: ‘We are extremely pleased at the decision to establish the special tribunal.  With this tribunal expediting civil litigation and the investigative unit to be established in the National Prosecuting Authority expediting criminal investigation and prosecution, we may at last begin to see individual perpetrators of corruption held to account.’

In one of the most significant cases of malfeasance in the health sector, SECTION27 furnished the SIU with a dossier of information gathered from its investigation on the Life Esidimeni case, following a proclamation to investigate alleged irregularities regarding the affairs for the Gauteng Department of Health in relation to the non-governmental organisations contracted to house mental health users. Subsequent to this there has been another proclamation to further extend the scope of the investigation into this case.

In June 2018, Corruption Watch, SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign made public the SIU findings of widespread corruption and gross financial misconduct in the Gauteng Department of Health (GDH) totalling some R1.2 billion during the period 2006-2010. This SIU investigation was authorised by a presidential proclamation issued in 2010. The report was eventually handed to President Zuma in March 2017, a full seven years after it was commissioned.  Following a Promotion of Access to Information Act request, the Presidency released the report to SECTION27 in May 2018.

In 2018, SECTION27 and Corruption Watch joined the National Health Anti-Corruption Forum, convened by the SIU. This forum will better enable civil society to refer future cases of corruption in the health sector to the SIU. This is another important step to ensure that those with information about corrupt activities report them to the SIU for investigation and litigation.

“We urge the SIU to take swift action in recovering stolen money that was allocated to basic deliver services, including health and education, to those who need them most. This would send a positive message to the public that those involved in corruption will be held accountable,” said SECTION27 Executive Director, Umunyana Rugege.

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For interviews contact:

Ntsiki Mpulo on 082 782 7143 or email mpulo@section27.org.za

Patience Mkosana 072 992 8380 or email PatienceM@corruptionwatch.org.za