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I hope that COVID-19 corruption in South Africa inspires action

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Cape Town, South Africa (AP) – There is some hope in South Africa that this time the anti-corruption outburst will inspire effective action.

Experts say public outrage over dubious government contracts worth about $ 900 million to fight KOVID-19 could eventually force the South African government to take more decisive action against corruption, experts say.

Africa’s most developed economy is already deeply immersed in corruption. The commission of inquiry is hearing allegations of vaccination during the presidency of former President Jacob uma uma. New allegations of misuse of public money to fight the COVID-19 epidemic are turning point, experts say.

In last month’s report, the government’s special investigative unit outlined how the acquisition of personal protective equipment for hospitals, clinics, and other items was misused by local, regional, and national officials during the first months of last year’s epidemic.

As South Africa’s virus cases spread rapidly, making it Africa’s worst-hit country, those officials signed more than 2,500 emergency contracts that were uncovered to investigate corruption and mismanagement. Investigators say more charges are still pending and are being investigated.

Some of the alleged corruption was large and complex, including companies transferring millions of dollars through bank accounts.

The other schemes were shamelessly simple, such as charging blankets as soon as the poor arrived in the winter. One, ordering a $ 670,000 order to use motorcycles for COVID-19 patients as an ambulance was simply absurd.

“There was a complete separation of the checks and balances,” the unit said.

Some cases have been referred to prosecutors for criminal proceedings. The investigative unit is investigating deals that account for more than 30% of the total money spent by the South African government to fight COVID-19 by November, it said.

It would be a shock, say corruption experts, if the vaccine was not already deeply rooted in South Africa.

“I’m frustrated, but not surprised,” said David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch in South Africa. “We are always fighting big purchasing corruption.”

For almost three years, during the years of corruption, the State Corruption Commission investigated almost every day the grim details of how the heads of state-owned enterprises, high-ranking law enforcement officials, and government ministers themselves are supposed to be. corrupt enterprises, allowing them to pay huge government contracts in cash. He was president of the Uma uma from 2009 to 2018, when he was forced to step down over allegations of corruption.

President Cyril Ramafosa came to power promising to root out our corruption. But many officials in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) continued to be vaccinated and saw the epidemic as an opportunity. Ramafosa resists the ANC, the party once led by Nelson Mandela, for disobeying court orders to testify at a corruption hearing and for the party’s secretary general to refuse to resign while being accused of corruption. Many see them as signs that despite Ramafosa’s good intentions, the party is not ready to reform itself.

Despite the outrage of the South African republics, William Gumede, the founder of the ocracy Democracy Research Center, deeply believes that this is a turning point. He was part of an expert group that wrote a report for the government calling for strong action when corruption first emerged in the wake of the epidemic.

Gumede said the scandal was “so hard to wish for the ANC” because it was especially “disgusting” during the health crisis, it was not under the corrupt administration of the Ummah. He said he was gone, but corruption remained.

Gumede also discovered a change in national feelings since the coronavirus. The epidemic has affected South Africa with 1.5 million cases, with more than 50,000 deaths, perhaps its lowest point since the end of apartheid in 1994. South Africa was in decline until the devastating effects of the virus. Unemployment has now risen from 30% և, with a terrible warning for the future, youth unemployment is around 60%.

“Now they are directly affected,” Gumeden said of South Africans, who often did not see big ticket corruption as something that affected them personally. “You are sitting at home because your factory has just closed. You can no longer turn your back on it. That is what has changed. “

But Gumeden-Lewis agreed that it was not just a high-level vaccine. Corruption, which most directly affects South Africans on a daily basis, occurs locally.

Confidence in the government is at an all-time low, said Sekoetlan Famodi, director of the South Africa Accountability Laboratory, a group of nine countries that calls for greater accountability.

Phamodi որոշ Some young South African anti-corruption activists described what they see in society. The school building is being demolished because someone took a short construction contract և to pocket extra money. A understaffed hospital that pushes patients back after doctors ‘and nurses’ money was lost. Unemployed people were neglected for expensive jobs because they could not or would not pay bribes to local politicians.

Such low-level corruption remains largely undisputed, despite South Africa’s special investigations and national commissions, they say.

“Theoretically, times are changing,” said Pastor Ciyanda Massondo, a young activist. “In fact, they are not.”

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