Former Finance Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas has launched a scathing attack on government officials who are stealing money from the national purse.

He was the speaker at the sixth Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Development Trust Lecture held by Rhodes University.

Jonas said corruption had the ability to compromise the legacy that was built since 1994.

He welcomed the recent arrests tied to high-level corruption across the country.

Jonas praised the State Capture Commission for instilling strong values in its fight against corruption.

Jonas also praised President Cyril Ramaphosa for his stance in rebuilding the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Transnet.

Jonas believes innovative thinking and strategies are key to rebuilding state entities.

Recent high-level corruption arrests

Last week, seven officials linked to a multi-million-rand Free State asbestos saga were arrested last week by the Hawks.

The seven, including former Free State Human Settlements MEC Olly Mlamleli, are linked to a 2014 fraudulent R255 million tender for an audit of asbestos roofs in low-cost housing in the Free State.

They have since been released on bail, ranging from R50 000 to R500 000.

The suspects include senior government officials and businessmen as well as five companies.

Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela says she is alarmed by the arrests and has called for the law to take its course.

In the video below, SABC News Reporter Palesa Moeti unpacks proceedings after the seven were granted bail:

SAHRC calls for swift action to deal with corruption

Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called for a review of the Public Protector Act in order to enhance efforts to combat corruption.

The commission said it would like to see a tightening of legislative frameworks, while also bemoaning what it terms lack of action on numerous reports by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over the last few years.

Allegations of corruption in both the public and private sector have also had a damaging effect on South Africa’s brand, as reported in the video below: