Police minister Bheki Cele has attributed the on-going service delivery protests taking place in most parts of the country to rampant corruption in both government and the private sector.

Cele says corruption is robbing poor South Africans of services. Cele signed the Anti-Corruption Pledge in Pretoria. This is aimed at ending corruption within police ranks by bringing corrupt officers to book.

Corruption costs South Africa’s gross domestic product at least R27 billion annually. 66 000 jobs are also lost as a result.

To curb escalating corrupt acts within police ranks, the South African Police Service has launched the Anti-Corruption Strategy.

Police minister, Bheki Cele, said corrupt individuals have no place in the police and society, in general. Cele says members of the police must be subjected to lifestyle audits in an attempt to win the battle against corruption. Cele says even God frowns upon corruption.

“Even God is worried about corruption; if we go for corruption we are breaking God’s will and prayer. The weakness with a human being is a saying that it wasn’t me. We have seen with Adam. They were only two. But when he asked where you are? He said: It’s this woman who gave it to me.”

The strategy comes at the time when about ten police generals are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. National Hawks head, General Godfrey Lebeya, has urged members of the police to resist corruption as it hit hard on the poorest of the poor.

“The danger of failing to resist that temptation is that you’re going to involve the second person because corruption can’t be committed by an individual. It means that when you come with corrupt mentality you are going to corrupt the second person. And that is what we do not want if in your own mind you’ve got a corrupt mind, if you can just keep that to yourself corruption won’t be committed. The problem is when you go to meet the second person.”

Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole says for South Africa to attain economic stability it needs to be corruption free. Sitole says corruption scares investors away.

“For us to achieve economic stability and economic growth then we need to be corruption free, starting with the organization as well as the country. And for us to have a professional organization we need to have an organization with a good moral fiber which will introduce corruption free environment. And our theme is based to a journey for a safer which is also intended to be corruption free.”

A special committee comprising members of various police units and a retired judge has been formed to ensure the smooth implementation of the newly launched Anti-Corruption Strategy within the police.

The committee will in future accommodate members of the public in order to make sure it executes its mandate with fairness.