by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE Special Tribunal of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered R8,6 billion (US$570,5 million) since its establishment in 2019 to fight corruption and state capture in South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed this as he assured the nation of his government’s commitment to tackle graft.
Among breakthroughs, last week, it ordered two construction companies to return the profits they earned from R40 million in contracts to erect the Beit Bridge border fence.
This is at the border with northern neighbour, Zimbabwe.
Over the past few weeks, the tribunal has reviewed and set aside more than R100 million worth of irregular and unlawful contracts arising from COVID-related procurement.
Last year a former executive of state-owned Transnet was ordered to pay R26 million he received as a shareholder of a firm of consulting engineers contracted to the company while he was a full-time employee.
“There can be no doubt the Special Tribunal has been a game changer,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter on Monday.
He wrote days after holding the Presidential Imbizo in Mahikeng in the North West where citizens raised concerns about the pace of the fight against corruption.
Other communities have raised similar concerns but Ramaphosa assured them of the government’s focus.
“But the arm of the law is long,” he said.
“Those who have stolen from the state may believe they have gotten away with it,” the president stated.
“But their deeds will eventually catch up with them, whoever they are, and whatever position they may hold.”
Ramaphosa concedes there is still “a long way to go” and “a huge amount” of stolen public funds to be recovered.
“But the SIU and the Special Tribunal have made a good start, and I am confident of many more successes in the months and years ahead.”
– CAJ News