South Africa’s law enforcement agencies say they are clamping down on corruption at the local government level. The Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were all briefing Parliament’s Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Committee on measures and progress in the fight against malfeasance.
The Hawks says people were arrested as late as Thursday and others were given long prison sentences.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations says it will soon make a big announcement regarding corruption and fraud in the Ethekwini Metro.
Hawks Head General Godfrey Lebeya has told the Parliamentary Committee that they have registered major successes, including the arrest of several municipal officials as recently as Thursday.
“Among the suspects that have been arrested is CFO. The former Acting MM Manager of Supply Chain Management, the director of the company that was colluding with these municipal officials… the case itself has been postponed after appearing yesterday to the 9th of May.”
Lebeya has said that some of the arrests may not be known because they are avoiding inviting the media to these events as has happened in the past.
More cases investigated
The Special Investigations Unit on the other hand has several cases that they have referred either to the Hawks for Investigation or the NPA for prosecution. These cases are spread throughout the country and involve everything from PPE procurement to the funeral of the late former President Nelson Mandela.
SIU Head Andy Mothibi says they have identified a myriad of reasons for the state of affairs. They include poor governance where councils do not function as expected as well as poor project management. The biggest cause for concern though, is that those in authority do not take the necessary disciplinary steps against offenders.”
“Another important observation is just general lack of consequence management. And this, of course, is really a concern but this one leads to the perpetuation of wrongdoing and it really breeds this culture of impunity that we are faced with. So, the implementation of consequence management will assist us in this regard.”
A discussion on the history of corruption in SA:
High profile cases
NPA Head Advocate Shamila Batohi says over the next few months, they will be ramping up prosecutions in high-profile cases.
“The NPA, in as much as where we would like to be in terms of the rebuilding and cases in court, we are certainly on course. And our main focus in the next six months we’re certainly dealing with high-level corruption in all spheres of government and also in the private sector and including the state capture cases with the release of the Zondo Commission Report that is certainly our focus in the next six months.“