Man and Photos on Brown Corkboard
Man and Photos on Brown Corkboard. Representational Image. cottonbro studio/

President Ramaphosa on Monday signed a proclamation authorizing the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate the Northern Cape Economic Development, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (NCEDA) over allegations of maladministration and corruption.

The spokesperson of SIU Kaizer Kganyago said that the investigation will be related to at least seven contracts alongside "serious maladministration of salary adjustments that were not duly authorized," SA News reported.

Kganyago noted that the seven contracts include procurement of legal services, event organizing and management services, consultancy services, security services, services relating to the Riemvasmaak Tourism Master Plan, catering services and an audio-visual system.

Furthermore, the unit will also investigate any unauthorized, 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 NCEDA, the applicable suppliers or service providers, or any other person or entity," he said.

In addition, the unit will "identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses."

The investigation will look into the records from March 2012 to February 2024, noting that it can 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," he said.

"The SIU is empowered by the SIU Act to institute a 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 added.

South Africa has witnessed several corruption allegations at the top level of the administration.

For instance, earlier Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Blade Nzimande was accused of being involved in corruption activities over the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

However, the allegations of receiving kickbacks from the NSFAS were denied by the minister and he assured South Africans that the funds were never used to fund his political party as claimed by the Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).

Eskom's former CEO Andre de Ruyter resigned abruptly from his post in February 2022 and alleged that members of the energy company were involved in corruption.