Nxesi ‘aware of corruption’

2014-05-28 00:00

PUBLIC Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said he had been aware of corruption in his department long before the Public Protector (PP) launched her investigation into the state-funded upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private estate at Nkandla.

At the end of last year, Nxesi had said Zuma was not aware what was being built at his own home.

The PP’s Nkandla report pointed out this was not true, and listed details that show Zuma had detailed information of the work in progress and that he was directly involved in the decision making.

The PP, advocate Thuli Madonsela, pointed out in her report that Zuma had at one stage even complained about the slow progress of the construction at his home.

At his swearing-in in Pretoria on Monday, Nxesi said Public Works had done the same investigations as the PP and he was aware of the “rot” in the department, which was there before he was appointed as minister.

Referring to the corruption uncovered by the PP, Nxesi said “those things were not found by the PP. We found it.”

Nxesi said Zuma had re-appointed him as minister of Public Works to complete the task given to him. “We are trying to turn the department around, because billions are involved,” he said.

He said corruption was not limited to state departments.

“There is also corruption in the private sector. The people who bribe state officials, especially when it comes to the management of state property, are people who work in the private sector.”

He said several corrupt officials had been dismissed from Public Works.

“The only way to weed out corruption is to ensure the right systems are in place.”

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