Dishonest officials No.?1 on Corruption Watch list

2015-02-19 00:00

THE abuse of power by government officials is deemed the number one reason for corruption in KZN, ­Corruption Watch reported.

Corruption Watch, a non-governmental organisation, has said the number of incidents of corruption being reported to them is indicative of the scale of this crime in South Africa.

While admitting that not all ­incidents have yet been “verified”, ­David Lewis, executive director at Corruption Watch, said their data is good at pointing out where the ­population believe theft of public ­resources may be taking place.

“This is a disease that is in every corner of this country. The amount of reported incidents have increased consistently over the years. While we can attribute this to the strengthening of our brand and while we cannot say just how much corruption is taking place, this allows us to provide this information to the relevant authorities,” said Lewis.

He said the lack of political will and the tarnished image of President Jacob Zuma perpetuated the continuation of corruption by officials.

“The situation is really dire. While we have an impressive array of laws and institutions dedicated to ­combatting corruption, the reality is that many of our leaders act with ­absolute impunity. This brings the laws into contempt and erodes public trust in the institutions.”

Lewis said the increase in reporting on school corruption was possibly ­because “people felt their children were being prejudiced”.

In a press release, they reported a steady increase in the number of ­reports received, up 17% against the previous year.

“The 2014 data indicates that an average of seven reports a day were received, totalling 2 714 reports in 2014. Of these, 56% were classified as corruption within Corruption Watch’s mandate”, said the statement. The Gauteng province trumped all the provinces with 44% of all reports, followed by KZN (16%) and then the Free State.

The organisation has received 8 181 reports on alleged corruption since 2012.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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