SIU gets green light from Ramaphosa to investigate Home Affairs, PRASA

20th February 2024 By: Sashnee Moodley - Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

SIU gets green light from Ramaphosa to investigate Home Affairs, PRASA

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is set to probe maladministration at Home Affairs and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) following proclamations signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The investigations at Home Affairs relate to the issuing of permits, visas and citizenship and will span 20 years – between 2004 and 2024.

“The SIU will also investigate improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees of Home Affairs in relation to the installation of T200 firewalls. The Proclamation also empowers the SIU to investigate any irregular, unlawful or improper conduct by officials or employees of Home Affairs or any other person or entity, in relation to the allegations being investigated,” the forensic investigation and litigation agency said.

In the case of PRASA, the SIU will probe tenders awarded in the supply of locomotives to Swifambo Rail Leasing, as well as the supply and maintenance of an integrated security access management system at various train stations to Siyangena Technologies.

PRASA’s Group Insurance department will also come under investigation for fraudulent liability claims and the SIU will look at the employment of ghost employees at the State rail entity.

The PRASA investigation will span events that took place between 2010 and 2024.

The SIU has also been tasked by Ramaphosa to recover any financial losses the State may have incurred.

“In addition to investigating maladministration, malpractice, corruption and fraud, the SIU will identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses. In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996, the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority for further action. The SIU is empowered by the SIU Act to institute 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,” it said.