Protector to probe corruption after community complaint

2011-09-10 07:39

Claims of corruption in the Eastern Cape housing department, two municipalities and a public hospital will be probed by the public protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, her office said yesterday.

“We cannot prejudge the cases. We will investigate each matter, working closely with the complainants,” she said.
The complaints were made at a community outreach meeting in Bhisho yesterday.

According to the protector, Member of the Provincial Legislature John Korkie claimed that no action had been taken about the alleged theft of R28 million from the municipality.

He also alleged that no action had been taken against the person who “stole” R1.4 million, since recovered, from the Kou-Kamma Municipality.

Korkie accused nurses at the Santa Hospital, in Port Alfred, of buying life insurance for terminally ill patients only so they could claim benefits when they died.

He asked: “How can we be sure that there will be good health care when the nurses stand to benefit from the patients’ deaths?”

Madonsela’s office said a community member had alleged that a company that had failed to deliver on a social housing project was still securing similar projects elsewhere in the province.

He claimed that the company was awarded a R13-million tender to build 550 RDP houses but delivered only 120, some of them falling apart, and was paid R9 million before its contract was terminated.

Madonsela had inspected the defective houses in Sweetwaters, her office said.

Other matters raised at the meeting included the fairness of the land restitution process, pupil transport, the school nutrition programme and the lack of a secondary school in the area.

Concerns were also raised about crime, poor road conditions, basic municipal services and delays in pension benefits payouts for former SA National Defence Force members.

“The consultative process was aimed at soliciting feedback on the work of the public protector and fostering a common understanding of the institution’s mandate and role,” Madonsela’s office said.

It was also aimed at implementing the protector’s remedial action to ensure administrative justice by organs of state when it came to service failure, and to ensure accountability in the exercise of state power and control over public resources.

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