SIU to probe NC economic development agency

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is expected to investigate allegations of maladministration and corruption at the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (NCEDA). This after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation authorising the unit to probe the agency. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago explained that the unit will probe allegations of corruption related to at least seven contracts and 'serious maladministration of salary adjustments… that were not duly authorised'. The seven contracts in question are for the procurement of legal services; event organising and management services; consultancy services; security services; services relating to the Riemvasmaak Tourism Master Plan; catering services, and an audio-visual system. 'The SIU will also investigate any unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by NCEDA or the State. The scope of the investigation also covers any unlawful or improper conduct by officials or employees of NCE DA, the applicable suppliers or service providers or any other person or entity. 'In addition to investigating maladministration, malpractice, corruption and fraud, the SIU will identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses,' he said. The investigation is expected to cover a time period between 1 March 2012 and February 2024, and may lead to referrals for criminal prosecution. 'In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 (SIU Act), the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action. 'The SIU is empowered by the SIU Act to institute civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during its investigation caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration,' Kganyago said. Source: South African Government News Agency