Like Ali Baba And The 40 Thieves, PPE ‘Robbers’ Shouted ‘Open Sesame’

PROFITED: Nomvula Mokonyane, former environment minister

The more than 700-page Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into the many shenanigans in the buying of PPE by greedy politicians, bent civil servants, and gullible family members reads like Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.

With the coronavirus wreaking havoc among the population while taking many lives in its wake, the vile and voracious screamed “open sesame” just like Ali Baba did outside the cave of endless riches.

Ali Baba had seen the 40 thieves when they came to the cave and shouted “open sesame”. The cave opened and they went in. When they emerged they had bags of gold.

All they had to do was shout “close sesame” and the deed was done.

In real-life in South Africa afflicted persons who could find a hospital bed were the lucky ones. They could be intubated to help them breadth as the virus attacked their lungs.

So many others failed to recover and died. Unbeknownst to them and their relatives, the money that could have saved their lives was mindlessly spirited away.

Former environment minister Nomvula Mokonyane simply asked family members to buy 200 000 Dettol soap bars from Continental Cash and Carry which were then sold to the department of health for a cool million rand profit – well that’s what the SIU report reveals.

More than 94 000 people in South Africa have succumbed to the virus since the first Covid-19 case was recorded in the country on 5 March 2020.

Jack Bloom the Democratic Alliance perennial whistleblower on health matters in Gauteng has also been reading the SIU report made public by President Ramaphosa on Tuesday.

He says the cost of the refurbished Ashanti hospital in the far west rand has ballooned to R733 million, including the building cost of R588.5 million and medical equipment bought for R144.4 million.

Bloom, who titles himself as the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, on Wednesday said: “According to the SIU, six of the contractors were irregularly appointed by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development without a contract amount, no bill of quantities, and no scope of work.

“Work on the hospital started in April 2020 before the costing and pricing was approved. Although the refurbishment budget was supposed to be R50 million, it mysteriously grew to more than R500 million.”

Bloom said the hospital was made available by the AngloGold Ashanti mining company, “but money was spent on it before a legal transfer of the property to the Gauteng provincial government”.

He said there were supposed to be 175 high care beds for Covid-19 patients, but the hospital was only partially opened in May last year and has only treated eight seriously ill Covid patients.

“Work on this hospital is still not completely finished and the SIU is recommending that all payments for the refurbishment be stopped,” said Bloom.

Many others were aware of the easy money and they also shouted “open sesame” went in and stole the loot.

Like Ali Baba, the shameless public representatives looted enough to ensure their grandchildren would never want for anything that money can buy.

The only problem is that they got caught and more of them are being exposed in the rather lengthy SIU report which has loudly ordered “shut sesame”.

Unlike Ali Baba, the PPE thieves will have to face the consequences.

  • Mudzwiti is the founder and editor of The Bulrushes
  • This article is republished from The Bulrushes under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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