Tito Mboweni to 'face the music' over COVID corruption

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will be tasked with explaining to Parliament how the tender procurement scheme for certain contracts with the government actually works. This comes after some high-profile politicians and their cronies were accused of illegally benefiting from some dodgy COVID-19 deals.

Why Tito Mboweni will face Parliament next week

Parliament's two finance committees will meet next week to brief MPs on the government's procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE). Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane and officials from the Treasury's procurement office are also expected to face the music, where they will explain what exactly has gone wrong.

Unscrupulous companies have been accused of inflating the prices of PPE and then pocketing the difference. Others have awarded contracts to friends and businesses within their inner circles. The president's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, has taken a leave of absence after her husband was accused of fiddling the figures on a R125m tender agreed with the government.

COVID corruption – who has been accused of what?

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku is also facing calls to resign after he was implicated in a scandal that will now be investigated by the SIU. This comes just as the IMF has given South Africa a multi-billion rand loan to fight COVID-19, and already, suspicions have been raised about whether the cash will go where it is needed, rather than ending up in someone's wallet.

Standing committee on finance chair Joe Maswanganyi confirmed that Tito Mboweni would be expected to brief Parliament next week, and he implored the minister to bring some 'transparency' to the situation.

"We should call the Minister of Finance with his officials, probably together with the Department of Health, to come and appear before these two committees and explain to us what's happening, and how this process of PPE procurement started.
"Why this outrage and all this negative publicity? The public must be able to know from the government, through Parliament, what is happening."Joe Maswanganyi