Ex Minister Nomvula Mokonyane Fingered in R2.7m PPE Corruption: 'She Won't Be Jailed'

Ex Minister Nomvula Mokonyane Fingered in R2.7m PPE Corruption: 'She Won't Be Jailed'

  • Former Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane has been exposed for her involvement in PPE corruption
  • Mokonyane paid R1.6 million from her account to a company partly owned by her daughter for a health department tender
  • According to an SIU PPE corruption report, the tender was valued at R2.7 million for about 200 000 units of bath soaps
  • Locals aired their two cents' worth on the scandal, with many strongly criticising politicians involved in corruption

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JOHANNESBURG - The personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption report commissioned and compiled by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) reveals that former cabinet minister Nomvula Mokonyane was involved in Covid-19 tender corruption to the tune of R2.7 million.

The report, made public by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, showed that Mokonyane paid about R1.6 million from her personal account to Tuwo Rhodesia, a company owned by her daughter Katleho Mokonyane and Bonelwa Mgudlwa.

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Former Minister, Environmental Affairs, Nomvula Mokonyane, Personal protective equipment, PPE, Tender, Corruption, Gauteng Department of Health, SA Express
Nomvula Mokonyane has her hand in PPE corruption. Image: Luba Lesolle/ Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

The company was contracted to supply 200 000 units of soap to the Gauteng Health Department (DoH) before purchasing the product from Continental Cash and Carry (CCNC), a wholesaler in Crown Mines, Johannesburg, at a price of just over R1.5 million in April 2020.

Reports suggest Tuwo Rhodesia received communication from the health department one month prior requesting a quotation for the 175g bath soap bars.

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The Citizen reported the contract was to the tune of nearly R2.8 million after being signed off by Thandiwe Pino, a former top gun within the health department's supply chain and asset management.

Non-compliance with regulations

Further, the SIU uncovered that Mgudlwa intentionally withheld his business interests from the ailing national carrier SA Express, where he was employed at the time of the awarding of the tender.

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News24 reported that the SIU investigation also found that the privately-owned Tuwo Rhodesia did not have a value-added tax (VAT) registration certificate issued by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in its possession when the tender was awarded.

According to the SARS website, a business must register for VAT if the total value of taxable goods or services exceeds R1 million in a 12-month period or is expected to exceed this amount. A business may also register if the income earned in the past 12 months exceeded R50 000.

In the same month as when the first batch of soaps was procured from CCNC, Mokonyane processed another payment, this time of R50 100. When the investigation was underway, it was found that the two invoices from CCNC totalled 200 004 soap units for an amount of R1 650 058.33.

"The SIU investigation found there was no competitive bidding process that was entered into for the awarding of the contract to Tuwo Rhodesia. The company [subsequently] profited about R1 140 000 from the order," read a statement.

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Corruption rears its ugly head

Understandably, South Africans were appalled, taking to social media to berate the blatant corruption. Locals lamented the negative impact of corruption on the economy and society at large.

Briefly News compiled a few of the most notable comments below.

@Divana Boks wrote:

"Why do you inform us on these things when we all know nothing will come of it? No one will go to jail let alone appear in court."

@Sibusiso Mthombheni said:

"From Bosasa braai packs to telling Westonaria residents that the ANC 'doesn't want their dirty votes', if the standards for being an office bearer were a bit higher, this incompetent would've been shown the door a long time ago, but we're in the politics of getting rewarded based on whose faction you belong."

@Katlego P Nthoana added:

"South African must learn from Venezuela, corruption can mess up a once-thriving economy, signs are there that ANC can't correct itself while in charge, maybe they must be opposition."

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@MamaDuna Wakwa Saambou offered:

"But why are these ministers so greedy? They've been stealing ever since l can remember. I think they are stealing to relocate to Pluto, it's no longer about soft life."

@Tebogo Ntebaleng mentioned:

"We are sick and tired of reading about those operating above the law in this country. You know that she can't and won't be prosecuted so let's just leave it there."

Report shows nearly 100% increase in PPE prices

Elsewhere, Briefly News reported that the SIU released a report on the government's spending during the Covid-19 pandemic. It revealed the majority of the expenditure was irregular and fraudulent.

The report led to the SIU launching an investigation into the health department after the unit found that the department overpaid by nearly 100 per cent for PPE.

As a case in point for PPE fraud in Gauteng, the Mlangeni Brothers Events CC received R24 million in a contract with the province's health department to supply 100 000 boxes of gloves, News24 reports.

Source: Briefly News

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