NATIONAL NEWS - Police are casting their net wide in search of the culprits behind the bizarre dumping of a truckload of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) along the Hannops River in Centurion at the weekend.
While avoiding giving details of progress made in the investigation of the unprecedented disposal of unused PPE, police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, yesterday assured the public that no stone would be left unturned to bring those responsible to book.
“The intention of the investigation, led by police at Lyttleton [SA Police Service], is to trace the origin of the Covid-19 PPE consignment strewn in the Hennops River at the Irene Golf Estate and establish the circumstances surrounding this incident. “There have been no previous incidents of this nature to have been reported to the police.”
The broadening of the investigation could see police also interviewing PPE supplying companies Promed Technologies, Medtex and Nitrile, whose names were clearly marked on the disposed consignment. Democratic Alliance Tshwane councillor Bronwyn Engelbrecht, who has maintained that behind the incident was “the hiding of incriminating evidence”, said the forensic investigation would be made easier with the names of companies labelled on the boxes found.
The resurgence of PPE graft has seen President Cyril Ramaphosa coming under pressure from the ANC’s alliance partners, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party, who have called for a firmer hand in dealing with corruption.
The PPE disposal scandal takes place against a background of politically connected individuals implicated in questionable multimillion-rand PPE government tenders.
Those implicated include Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, her husband, chief Madzikane II Thandisizwe, Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso. KwaZulu-Natal-based Promed Technologies is described in its website as having been involved “in the distribution of medical and surgical consumables since 2014”. With products ranging from latex to nitrile, Promed supplies sanitation, surgical and medical equipment.