A year-long orgy of greed for officials

2009-12-28 08:47

 

FIFTEEN years into democracy, one would think that public servants

are there to serve the interests of the general public, but this has proved

otherwise.

In 2009 we witnessed many cases of tender-rigging where only those

associated with top government ­officials benefited – at the expense of service

delivery to the poor.

While government has tried to act against those implicated in fraud

and corruption, this has not stopped others from putting their hands in the

cookie jar.

Alleged acts of fraud and corruption were uncovered in most

government departments, such as housing (now known as human settlements), roads,

water, public works, prisons, home affairs and health.

With the 2010 Soccer World Cup due to kick off in six months’ time

it was not surprising that some of the scandals would be associated with

infrastructure developments linked to the games.

In North West, critical roads construction projects meant to

improve transport to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg face collapse due

to lack of money after it emerged that contracts worth R700 million were awarded

to companies without tender rules being followed.

An investigation is under way and three North West officials,

including the head of department, have been suspended.

Correctional services has made some of the biggest headlines. First

it was the controversial release on medical parole of convicted fraudster

Schabir Shaik nine months ago.

He has made a dramatic recovery and was caught on

camera doing his shopping in Durban last week.

Senior correctional services officials allegedly received kickbacks

from Bosasa Group in return for tenders worth R2?billion, the Special

Investigative Unit (SIU) revealed.

One official allegedly accepted a house,

cars, an overseas trip for his daughter and rugby season tickets for Blue Bulls

matches.

Although cleared of wrongdoing, correctional services national

commissioner Xoliswa Sibeko and her Gauteng counterpart, Thozama Mqobi-Balfour,

rented houses for more than R30?000 a month while their government houses stood

empty.

Former national police commissioner Jackie ­Selebi’s corruption

trial dominated the courts, where his former friend Glenn Agliotti testified

against him.

Here is a breakdown of the biggest cases this year.

National
  •  R1.3?billion is needed to rebuild badly constructed RDP

    houses;

  • The Human Settlements Department splurges R25?million on a

    theatre production about houses;

  • Water DG Pam Yako is probed for meddling with tenders and

    awarding contracts to pals; She is suspended but not charged.

  • 31 home affairs officials are suspended for issuing fraudulent

    IDs and registrations of marriages and deaths; This follows exposés of how the

    Pakistani mafia has corrupted home affairs.

  •  Convicted drug lord Glenn ­Agliotti testifies that he bribed

    Selebi; and

  • Correctional services national commissioner Xoliswa Sibeko and

    her Gauteng counterpart, Thozama Mqobi-Balfour, are involved in a housing

    scandal.

North West

  • Roads contracts worth R700?million are awarded to companies

    without tender rules being followed; and

  • A R456m hospital deal is rigged to benefit a contractor.

Gauteng
  • ?Former transport head of department Sibusiso Buthelezi ­allegedly

    awards R500?million in tenders to friends and ­associates;

  • The health department is hit by a R273-million scandal. It

    allegedly illegally extended a contract to a company linked to former health MEC

    Brian Hlongwa; and

  • A Gauteng councillor is arrested for charging people to apply for

    RDP houses.

Free State

  • The province ran out of anti­retroviral drugs and cannot say how

    many people are receiving the life-saving medication;

  •  Premier Ace Magashule is taken to court after he stops payments

    to all service providers;

  • 116 public officials are found to be doing business with the

    provincial government; and

  •  R9.6 million is spent on buying the premier and his cabinet

    Mercedes Benzes.

Limpopo

  • Roads MEC Pinkie Kekana suspends tenders worth R300 million and

    removes the members of the Roads Agency board;

  •  A R200-million hospital IT contract is not renewed on time and

    leads to a lawsuit; and

  • Politicians and civil servants buy houses discounted by

    60%.

Mpumalanga

  • Premier David Mabuza’s ex-wife Ruth Silinda benefits from a

    rigged R210-million construction contract;

  • Former public works HOD Priscilla Nkwinika is deployed to

    Mabuza’s office despite damning reports.


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