National Treasury will institute a process to determine the truth or not of recent allegations made on SABC against its chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown by Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi and his Decolonisation Foundation.
Treasury issued a statement late wednesday saying it will take “appropriate steps”, but that such a process requires that those in possession of relevant information provide it. Therefore, Treasury has written to Manyi and his foundation as well as to the head of the Hawks to get the purported dossier that Manyi claims supports these allegations.
Last week Manyi said during an SABC interview that his foundation has received a dossier which shows large sums of money had been deposited into the bank account of Treasury’s chief procurement officer Kenneth Brown.
Manyi said he forwarded the dossier to the Hawks for investigation.
“If you have an officer of government that is involved with a procurement function and you hear all kinds of monies are going into his account that exceed a million – and he is supposed to be a salaried person – the question is where do these deposits come from?” asked Manyi.
He added, however, that it could very well be all above board, but then again asked if these deposits could possibly be “from some of the people doing business with government”.
“We don’t know. We are not making any allegations. We are doing the responsible thing by handing the dossier to the responsible authority of the state,” said Manyi.
Treasury said it views allegations made against the chief procurement officer – or any other officer – in a very serious light and is committed to act on any forms of impropriety.
“National Treasury hopes that Mr Manyi is raising this matter in good faith and in accordance with laws like The Protection of Personal Information Act. We also note that in reporting this matter to the law enforcement authorities, he at the same time saw it fit to go public with information that has not been tested and by doing so may be implicating an innocent person,” said Treasury.
It added that it hopes this is not a deliberate attempt to “sow seeds of suspicion” on the integrity of Treasury, especially since the chief procurement officer “has a long standing record of serving the public service with great dedication”.
“National Treasury, as an institution charged with the responsibility of overseeing public finances in the interest of our country, strives to do so with integrity, proper and sound governance at all levels,” said Treasury.
“We are committed to act on any forms of impropriety at all levels within our ranks by taking preventive action against corruption and ensuring a clean procurement system in government.”
This could include requiring senior executives in the National Treasury to subject themselves to independent processes of probity such as lifestyle audits, if necessary.
Treasury appealed to those making allegations against its officials to demonstrate that they too are free of ill motives “to advance their narrow interests at the expense of the public interest” and have no conflicts of interest related to procurement of goods and services from the public sector.