South African law enforcement says it cracks down on corruption at the local government level. The Hawks, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have all briefed the House Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the steps and progress made in tackling malfeasance.
The Hawks say people were arrested as recently as Thursday and others were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
The Priority Crimes Investigation Branch announces that they will soon make a big announcement regarding corruption and fraud in the Ethekwini Metro.
Hawks General-in-Chief Godfrey Lebeya told the House Committee they had scored major successes, including the arrest of several city officials as recently as Thursday.
“Among the suspects who have been arrested is the CFO. The former acting MM director of supply chain management, the director of the company who colluded with these city officials… the case itself was adjourned after appearing yesterday May 9th.
Lebeya said some of the arrests may not be known because they avoid inviting the media to these events, as has happened in the past.
More case studies
The Special Investigations Unit, on the other hand, has several cases it has referred either to the Hawks for investigation or to the NPA for prosecution. These cases are spread across the country and involve everything from the purchase of PPE to the funeral of the late former President Nelson Mandela.
SIU chief Andy Mothibi said he identified a myriad of reasons for the state of affairs. They include poor governance where boards do not work as intended as well as poor project management. However, the biggest source of concern is that the authorities do not take the necessary disciplinary measures against offenders. »
“Another significant observation is simply the general lack of consequence management. And that, of course, is really a concern, but that leads to the perpetuation of wrongdoing and that really breeds this culture of impunity that we face. So implementing consequence management will help us in that regard.
A discussion of the history of corruption in South Africa:
High profile cases
The NPA’s chief lawyer, Shamila Batohi, said that over the next few months they would be stepping up prosecutions in high-profile cases.
“The NPA, as far as we would like to be in terms of reconstruction and court cases, we are certainly on the right track. And our main focus over the next six months we will certainly be dealing with high level corruption in all spheres of government and also in the private sector including cases of state capture with the release of the report of the Zondo Commission which is certainly our goal in the next six months.“