South African authorities are investigating government departments for graft over irregularities in coronavirus-related tenders worth 5 billion rands ($290 million), the head of its Special Investigating Unit (SIU) told lawmakers on Wednesday.
The figure is likely to add to pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling African National Congress, who have struggled to deflect criticism from alliance partners and opposition parties as allegations of corruption implicated senior ANC politicians.
Ramaphosa, who replaced his scandal-prone predecessor Jacob Zuma in 2017 with promises to eradicate corruption, has battled to root out criminality linked to the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa, which has the world’s fifth-highest number of coronavirus infections at 592,144.
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