Head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Advocate Andy Mothibi, has told Parliament of the Republic of South Africa that the SIU had submitted 21 reports to the Presidency on the outcomes of investigations relating to allegations of corruption, maladministration, and malpractice in the affairs of State institutions.
Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the Unit’s 2022/23 Annual Report on Tuesday, 17 October 2023, Adv. Mothibi said one of the reports submitted to the Presidency is an interim report on an investigation in the affairs of the University of Fort Hare on allegations of maladministration in the awarding of honours degrees, mismanagement of funds, and sourcing of public servants for study into various faculty programmes by an individual for personal gain.
A report on the procurement of or contracting for the supply and erection of prefabricated mobile classrooms, laboratories, and water tanks at schools by the Eastern Cape Department of Public Works on behalf of the provincial education department and payments which were made in respect thereof and any related unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred was also submitted, he said.
Furthermore, the SIU finalised and submitted a report on the procurement of or contracting for aero-medical services and patient transport services by or on behalf of the North West and Free State health departments.
As a statutory body with a mandate to investigate, recover assets and financial losses suffered by the State, and to prevent further losses, the SIU had recovered actual cash and assets worth R 389 million between April 2022 and March 2023, prevented financial losses of R 2.1 billion, instituted 35 civil action matters in the Special Tribunal to the value of R 2.4 billion, and had R 300 million worth of contracts or administrative decisions set aside or deemed invalid.
Furthermore, the SIU has a value of potential cash or assets to be recovered sitting at R 846 million. This relates to, amongst others, matters in which the SIU has been granted by the High Court or Special Tribunal orders to be executed, preservation orders to freeze assets and pension benefits on individuals and entities linked corruption and maladministration uncovered by SIU investigations pending finalisation of civil proceedings.
During the Financial Year under review, the SIU made 376 disciplinary referrals against officials in various State institutions and 680 referrals were made to the relevant prosecuting authority for consideration. A further 60 087 referrals were made to regulatory authorities and institutions for administrative action including cancelation of fraudulently acquired driver’s licences uncovered in the Department of Transport investigations. The number includes recommendations to place certain companies on the list of restricted or blacklisted companies to do business with the State.
After six consecutive years of clean audits, the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) had given the SIU a qualified audit opinion based on an accounting technicality. The AGSA found that there was a projected understatement of revenue of R12,9 million relating to the recovery of legal costs paid by Department of Justice (DoJ) to counsel on behalf of SIU through the Office of the State Attorney, for the 2021/22 financial year that was invoiced and recognised as revenue in the 2022/23 financial year. “To remedy the situation and prevent further occurrence, the SIU will review its accounting treatment of the recovery of legal costs in the current financial year and will involve all stakeholders like the DoJ, State Attorney, Accountant General at the National Treasury and AGSA to arrive at an acceptable accounting treatment,” he said.
Adv. Mothibi concluded the presentation by stating that:
“The SIU is high performing organisation that will in future focus on key areas, such as the implementation of corruption, maladministration and malpractice prevention through data analytics and predictive modelling as well as the digitisation of business processes.”
Spokesperson: Special Investigating Unit
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