Government cracks the whip on corrupt officials

Government departments comprising the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster have declared war on corruption and have started the battle by weeding out corrupt elements within their own ranks.

“The Cluster has intensified its efforts to root out corruption within its own departments. As a result, a total of 362 cases were investigated and 291 arrests were made – 167 were public officials and 124 members of the public,” said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe during a JCPS Cluster briefing on Tuesday. Those implicated in the investigations have appeared in court and 155 convictions have been secured so far, the minister added.

During the last financial year, President Jacob Zuma issued at least 18 proclamations authorising the SIU to conduct investigations, Radebe said. Most of the investigations focused on procurement related irregularities. For the first time, investigations included cases in two Metropolitan Municipalities, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, as well as the SABC

Other major investigations were conducted into the procurement of accommodation by the Department of Public Works, the procurement department of SAPS, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and a number of municipalities in the Western Cape. Radebe also singled out the broadening of the investigation into contracts for low cost housing and the on-going investigation into social grant irregularities.

The Anti-Corruption Task Team has also made significant progress in fighting corruption, Radebe noted. “Joint operations have commenced. In this regard, 116 accused persons are appearing in court relating to 42 cases, with R579 million assets restrained in total. Of the 116 accused, 19 have assets more than R5 million, with restraints in place,” he said.

The minister said government was aware that South Africans were concerned about the high levels of corruption in society. “We recognise that corruption holds the potential to erode all the gains made in our hard earned democracy and we commit to find sustainable solutions to quell these acts of criminality,” he added.

SA – the Good News via BuaNews