The Special Tribunal has granted the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) an order to freeze R7.9 million held in bank accounts of companies that were irregularly awarded tenders by the Gauteng health department to refurbish the AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Hospital near Carletonville for Covid-19 purposes.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago on Tuesday said the order against Pro Serve Consulting and Thenga Holdings was granted on Friday by Judge Lebogang Modiba.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura opened the multimillion-rand 181-bed hospital in May with great fanfare. But the facility has remained largely unused and has treated very few Covid-19 patients after the provincial government controversially used R500 million from Covid funds to refurbish the hospital.
Kganyago said they had reasonable grounds to believe the funds held by Pro Serve Consulting and Thenga Holdings were the proceeds of unlawful activity.
“The SIU has reasonable grounds to believe that the funds are the proceeds of unlawful activity and fall to be forfeited to the state, or otherwise dealt with as part of proposed review proceedings to set aside the contracts of all the PSPs [professional service providers] and contractors involved in the refurbishment of the AGA Hospital,” Kganyago said in a statement.
The SIU found in its investigations the appointments to refurbish AGA Hospital were done irregularly and unlawfully, and stand to be set aside as invalid.
There was also no approved budget for the refurbishments, which increased from an estimated R50 million to an amount in excess of approximately R500 million.
According to the Special Tribunal’s order, Pro Serve Consulting and Thenga Holdings are prohibited from dealing in any manner with the money held in the bank accounts pending the final review proceedings to be instituted by the SIU within 60 days of the date of the order.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe