Public ‘shouldn’t have to beg for fraud reports’

2013-06-26 00:00

MEMBERS of the public should not have to turn to the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to get information that “belonged to them”. This was said by the KZNSACP leadership at a media briefing yesterday following the party’s provincial general council (PGC) in Pietermaritzburg.

Party provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said all the forensic reports into fraud and corruption in the public sector must be released, including the Manase report into the eThekwini council.

“Releasing the reports will ensure that we deal decisively with corrupt elements and demonstrate our moral stand as the alliance in the fight against fraud and corruption.”

He said investigations instituted in several municipalities, such as Msunduzi, Mandini and uMhlathuze, were never made public.

“Municipalities are under administration as a result of forensic investigations.”

Mthembu said releasing the forensic reports would not jeopardise subsequent criminal investigations.

“It is an excuse not to release the reports.

“Why hide something that is owned by the public? We don’t buy that releasing the forensic reports may jeopardise investigations,” Mthembu added.

SACP provincial executive member and Cosatu secretary Zet Luzipho echoed Mthembu’s sentiments.

“If we maintain that there is democracy, there should be transparency.”

Luzipho said there should be mechanisms to safeguard those who had given information to the investigations.

The province should follow in the footsteps of the Justice Department, which had embarked on a “name and shame” campaign against those involved in corrupt activities, he said.

“Let’s follow suit on what the minister of Justice has done,” he said, referring to a recent report that listed those who had committed fraud and corruption.

Mthembu said the SACP opposed the need to use PAIA requests by the public to access the reports.

“We oppose that the public must apply to get what belongs to them.”

He said the emergence of personified organisations such as Agang SA and Economic Freedom Fighters was underpinned by anger and abuse of people’s emotions.

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