The Special Investigation Unit (SOE) will investigate the Eastern Cape’s “motorcycle ambulances”.
There will be no sacred cows, says Oscar Mabuyane, prime minister, and the SOE will investigate all allegations of irregularities with tenders and payments for services in the province’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. These include tenders for the procurement of personal protective clothing, a door-to-door awareness campaign of R4.8 million and the health department’s decision to spend R10 million on motorcycle ambulances.
Mabuyane made a request to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa directed that the SOE visit the province and investigate allegations of irregularities regarding these issues. He instructed the provincial treasury to investigate it himself as well.
“The provincial treasury will assist the SOE’s investigation team in these investigations,” the prime minister said on Tuesday.
According to Mabuyane, the investigations include the tender for the motorcycle ambulances which “will be viewed with a hawk’s eye”.
A total of R10 million was spent on this, but dr. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced barely a week later that the adapted motorcycles do not meet the requirements for patient transport and that they may only be used for deliveries.
Mabuyane says that the motorcycles are necessary for the delivery of medicine in rural areas, but they cannot be used if the correct tender processes have not been followed.
Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba blamed the legacy of apartheid for why the motorcycle ambulances were purchased in the province.
A door-to-door campaign that the prime minister previously described as “very suspicious” will also be investigated.
Two invoices were recently circulated on social media claiming about R3 million and R1.8 million from the OR Tambo District Municipality. It’s apparently for work during a door-to-door campaign on Covid-19.
The invoices are from the Phathilizwi Training Institution for work he believes is in May at the level 4 restriction in the wards of Port St. Johns, Mhlontlo and Nyandeni.
“While some of us have sleepless nights about how to slam Covid-19 in the province, others are busy planning how to loot the system,” said Mabuyane.
“We are going to denounce those who have made their hands dirty. This time there will be consequences for those found guilty. “