DA in KZN wants Public Protector to investigate sanitary pad procurement by provincial Education Dept

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal has lodged a formal request with the Public Protector to investigate irregularities in the procurement of sanitary pads by the provincial Education Department. A forensic report into the matter found that there was an over-supply of sanitary towels and that about R4 million worth of packs were never delivered to schools.

The forensic investigation was ordered by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in 2018. DA Member of the Provincial Legislature Dr Imran Keeka says although certain officials were suspended, the party wants the Public Protector to conduct a thorough and wider investigation on the matter.

“ I visited the offices of the Public Protector in Durban to hand over a forensic report to them that paints a picture of the involvement of several officials including HOD Dr. [Enock] Nzama for his alleged involvement in this entire R120 million tender procurement.  I have also in my submission to the Public Protector asked them to look at the role of the former MEC for Education, because I believe that as a political head at that time, that he could not have been somebody who had been outside of the process and a Cabinet member responsible for the department.”

Answering questions in Parliament yesterday, Deputy President David Mabuza conceded that the government’s poor procurement systems have led to large-scale COVID-19-related corruption.

Mabuza said law enforcement agencies are working hard to bring those who are found guilty, to book.

“The SIU is investigating up to R5 billion worth of contracts alleged to be improperly awarded to various companies, nationally, provincially, and municipal level in the procurement of PPEs. There have been more allegations referred to SAPS and other law enforcement for further investigation.”