The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) says it has opened dozens of criminal cases against some politicians and senior civil servants in the North West.

He says so long as there are no consequences for wrongdoing, the province will continue to sink deeper into the corruption web.

Scopa Chairperson Mahlakeng Mahlakeng was reacting to the latest Auditor-General’s audit report, which paints a bleak picture about the province’s financial controls.

The North West and Free State, which have received disclaimers, have been flagged as the worst performing provinces in the country.

A province, faced with a variety of administrative challenges, from allegations of corruption, financial mismanagement, fraud and irregular expenditure.

In his report, the Auditor General found that most municipalities and provincial departments could not be audited because of insufficient financial statements, or no submissions at all.

Scopa blames the lack of consequences to responsible senior officials who continue to occupy their positions.

Mahlakeng Mahlakeng says, “We reported since June or so, but nobody has been arrested and people need to be arrested so that we can give hope to our people.”

The North West has now received negative audit outcomes for the third successive financial year.

Its irregular expenditure currently stands at about R4 billion.

This has impacted negatively on local authorities such as the provincial capital, Mahikeng, where provision of services has come to a halt.

Once again, government is promising to crack the whip.

Government Spokesperson Vuyisile Ngesi says, “We are very worried that we have been fingered as being one of the worst in the country. However, we are also encouraged that, emanating from the last report, we have been taking action based on the recommendations and findings of the AG.”

With those in senior government positions allegedly continuing to plunder the public purse with impunity, the Hawks has warned that its net is closing in around them.

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