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Corrupt officials - 100 convictions sought

Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, Jeff Radebe, says government aims to achieve at least 100 convictions against people fingered for corruption in the public service.
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says that he is hoping to achieve at least 100 convictions of corrupt government officials this year. Image: GCIS
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says that he is hoping to achieve at least 100 convictions of corrupt government officials this year. Image: GCIS

Briefing the media at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament, Radebe, who heads the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Information and Publicity, said government had made strides in the fight against corruption, and that law enforcement agencies would now take aim at convicting, those who are implicated of wrongdoing or looting state resources.

This was the first of several briefings that the Radebe intends to hold to keep members of the public informed about the progress that the State is making to root out corruption.

"The Anti-Corruption Task Team, overseen by the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee, has made great strides in their concerted efforts to fight corruption," he said.

"Through the task team, government set a target to successfully convict 100 people by 2014 for corruption, where the amount involved is more than R5m," he said.

He said government had recorded 548 incidents or allegations of serious corruption by the end of March involving 300 incidents.

"The Task Team also set a target to initiate 150 criminal investigations against people on serious corruption charges, involving more than R5m. To this end, a total of 828 persons are currently under criminal, financial and or forensic investigation," he said.

In a marathon media briefing, Radebe announced the outcomes of investigations that were carried out by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) after President Jacob Zuma signed 36 proclamations in 2009 to probe graft across all spheres of government.

Since then, nine reports were completed and submitted to the Presidency, while 27 investigations were still underway.

Giving feedback on the nine reports, the Minister detailed the progress made against rogue officials who were corrupt.

These include:

  • Investigations in the Eastern Cape where the SIU probed losses incurred as a result of mismanagement of its expenditure through theft, fraud and other unlawful acts. The SIU, in this regard, recovered R5m and 87 cases against officials were referred to the department for disciplinary action, while 14 criminal cases were referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA);
  • At the Department of Arts and Culture, seven criminal cases were registered with the police relating to under-spending and mis-spending amounting to R2.3m during the 2010 FIFA World Cup projects in the 2007/08/09 financial years;
  • Twenty eight criminal cases were against SABC staff and service providers were referred to the police - nine for fraud and 19 for the contravention of the Companies Act, following investigations of undisclosed and unauthorised conflict of interest. A further 464 disciplinary cases were referred to the SABC for recommended action;
  • A CEO and a director of internal audit at the Ikhala FET College were dismissed. The CEO was further charged with corruption while the latter was charged with fraud and theft after the SIU probed the procurement of goods and services, including leases at the institution.

n the Western Cape, several municipalities faced probes from the SIU. These include:

  • A criminal case was opened against the George Local Municipality Municipal Manager, and a R5.1m lawsuit was instituted against him and his legal advisor after the SIU uncovered wrongdoing in relation to the alienation of municipal property through the George Housing Agency;
  • Four criminal cases against officials of the Stellenbosch Local Municipality were referred to the NPA for prosecution, while the SIU also referred disciplinary action in relation to corrupt practices in procuring goods and services;
  • Three officials from the Oudtshoorn Local Municipality were arrested following an SIU probe into the procurement of goods and services, and overall, six criminal cases were referred to the NPA;
  • The SIU referred evidence to the NPA with regard to a municipal official and her spouse for fraud and corruption, with recommendations made for disciplinary action against the official.

t the National Heritage Council, within the Department of Arts and Culture, the SIU referred two cases of tender fraud to the police, while disciplinary action was recommended against a further eight staffers for non-compliance with the statutes and regulations in both procurement and expenditure management.

SOURCE is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.

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