Special Investigating Unit welcomes arrest of senior Mpumalanga government official for PPE tender irregularity

The SIU welcomes the arrest of senior Mpumalanga government official for PPE tender irregularity

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) welcomes the arrest and subsequent prosecution of former Mpumalanga Department of Education’s (Education Department) acting head of department for contravening various sections of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The SIU investigation into the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the education department revealed that Jabulani Rolland Nkosi, in his capacity as the accounting officer, during the period May 2020, allegedly failed to comply with the provisions of the PFMA in procuring a number of PPE items to the value of R21.9 million. Nkosi was seconded from the Mpumalanga Department of Health to the position of accounting officer, and he has since returned to his position as chief director in the health department.

The procurement of PPE items like hazard bin liners, face shield, germ kill hand sanitizer, multipurpose industrial disinfectant, infrared forehead thermometer and safety goggles resulted in unauthorized, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Nkosi was arrested on Friday and charged under Nelspruit Cas number 506/08/2021. He appeared at the Nelspruit Magistrate Court and was released on R10 000 bail. The matter was remanded to 20 April 2022 for further investigations.

Meanwhile, the SIU will approach the Special Tribunal seeking to review and set aside the PPE tender and to recover financial losses suffered by the State and the education department. The SIU was, in terms of Proclamation R23 of 2020, directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate allegations of PPE procurement corruption, maladministration, malpractice and payments made by State institutions together with the conducts of officials. In line with SIU Act 74 of 1996, the SIU referred evidence pointing to criminal activity to the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks for further action. The SIU is working closely with the NPA and Hawks in this regard and will continue to work together to ensure that all role players identified through SIU investigations in the alleged crimes in the education department are held accountable for their actions.

Source: Government of South Africa