Anti-corruption task team to begin operating soon

The newly formed anti-corruption task team will start operating in the next few weeks, the head of the Special Investigating Unit, Willie Hofmeyr, said on Tuesday.

“A lot has been done in the past six months in terms of what needs to be done to fight corruption. The anti-corruption task team will start operating in the next few weeks,” Hofmeyr said.

He was speaking on the first of a three-day Association of Public Accounts Committees conference at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

The anti-corruption task team, a sub-committee of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster, was formed in July to coordinate the work of law enforcement agencies and watchdog bodies.

The task team’s main duty was to perform high priority criminal investigations when more than R5-million in assets would be seized.

The theme of the conference was “Strengthening accountability through sharpening the tools of proactive oversight”.

Hinders service delivery
John Mentoor, the chief director of the Public Service Commission’s professional ethics programme, told delegates that corruption in the public sector hindered service delivery.

The total number of cases reported to the commission during the 2008/09 financial year was 1 204, he said.

“Of the cases reported, 260 were reported by national departments and 944 by provincial departments.”

The total cost emanating from unauthorised, irregular, wasteful expenditure and criminal conduct was R100-million during the 2008/09 financial year.

“During the same financial year, R9,9-million was recovered from the employees found guilty of financial misconduct,” said Mentoor.

He said the R91-million not recovered could have been used to uplift the plight of the poor.

Mentoor said R86-million had been recovered as a result of the investigation of cases reported via the national anti-corruption hotline managed by the Public Service Commission.

“There were 81 officials who were found guilty of misconduct. Fifteen of the 81 officials were suspended, 25 given final warnings, 29 dismissed and 12 resigned,” he said. — Sapa

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