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Special Investigating Unit recovers R181m of stolen state funds

"The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is pleased to announce that civil recoveries emanating from irregular payments [and] maladministration to various beneficiaries has been successful of the period March 2008 and March 2013," SIU spokesperson Boy Ndala said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ndala said the SIU had prevented future losses to the value of R16-billion to date.

"Prevention of future losses is the approximate value of future savings to state institutions as a result of our interventions," Ndala said.

"This means that if the unit was not mandated to intervene, the state would have lost this amount to corruption and maladministration."

The amount of money that was not paid out based on SIU recommendations since 2001 amounted to R1.6-billion.

Recommendations included removing irregular beneficiaries from low-cost housing and social pensions systems.

Successful investigations
The department of social development was paid back R135.6-million following investigations into social grants.

The SIU said the amount was recovered from 43 404 public servants who irregularly accessed social grants which they were not entitled to. Over 14 000 of these public servants were from KwaZulu-Natal.

While the unit had turned its focus on procurement matters, investigations into social grants were ongoing. The unit also recovered approximately R41.4-million which was returned to the human settlements department.

These funds were recovered from irregular housing subsidies obtained from 5 202 government officials. Approximately R14.7-million of the funds was recovered from 1 567 officials from KwaZulu-Natal.

The SIU said investigations were ongoing and it was looking into housing contracts.

The correctional services department was reimbursed about R4.4-million that was recovered from officials who defrauded the medical aid fund.

The amount was recovered from 456 officials of the department, who signed acknowledgements of debt.

"The irregular procurement practices have become the core focus area for the unit," Ndala said. – Sapa

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