Govt to shame corrupt staff

2013-02-25 00:00

OPPOSITION parties in KwaZulu- Natal yesterday welcomed Justice Minister Jeff Radebe’s announcement that the government would begin naming and shaming corrupt officials, but said this was eight years overdue.

Radebe told reporters in Pretoria yesterday that in the next few days “we will be publishing all the names of people who have been convicted in cases of corruption, and all those whose assets have either been frozen or have been forfeited to the state”.

He said this was being done “so that the public will know these rotten apples of South African society”.

IFP chairperson Blessed Gwala said the minister was echoing what the opposition had been calling for since 2005. Gwala told The Witness yesterday the IFP was the first party to say that this must be done after discovering that thousands of government officials were illegally receiving child support grants.

“The ruling party should not be shouting while standing on top of the mountains. They must act. We have been saying this since 2005 and the ruling party has been dragging its feet,” Gwala said.

The DA’s provincial leader Sizwe Mchunu also said the call was long overdue. He said officials should be named, shamed, charged and prosecuted. “There must be a proper investigation leading to prosecution and sentencing. Then we can say we are winning the war against corruption,” said Mchunu.

Radebe said since 2010, 237 people have been arrested, 32 have been convicted, while only two were acquitted and 203 were still appearing in court. Since the establishment of the anti-corruption task team in 2010, criminal assets of 59 persons to the value of R816 million had already been frozen.

“Nearly R78 million has already been forfeited and returned to the state. The anti-corruption task team, working with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, has recovered three farms to the value of R59 million which were lost through corruption,” he said.

These, he said, could now be used for proper service delivery to the poor in the land reform programme. Another five farms to the value of R74 million have been frozen and should be recovered soon, he said.

“Good progress is also being made with regard to our intervention in Limpopo in terms of Section 100 of the Constitution. The anti-corruption task team is currently investigating 39 criminal cases involving fraud and corruption,” said Radebe.

He added that 87 people had been identified as having potentially benefitted by more than R5 million from corrupt activities.

President Jacob Zuma announced in his state of the nation address that sweeping changes were in the offing, including removing unqualified managers in the public service, the dismissal of accounting officers who did not get clean audit reports and the banning of public servants from doing business with the government.

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