More than 2 000 officials prosecuted for fraud

By Drum Digital
26 March 2013

More than 2000 provincial and municipal officials in Gauteng were prosecuted for fraudulently benefiting from government housing

programmes in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years, the DA said on Tuesday.

"None of the officials were suspended or sacked for their fraudulent activity," Democratic Alliance MPL Janet Semple said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Instead [they were] entering into acknowledgement of debt (AOD) agreements with the Gauteng local government and housing department to repay the R11.7 million lost."

The figures were provided by Gauteng local government MEC Ntombi Mekgwe in response to questions in the legislature. It emerged that 1630 officials in provincial government departments and 382 municipal officials were involved.

Local government and housing spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa could not immediately be reached for comment.

The DA in Gauteng said it was not satisfied with how the department dealt with the officials.

"The DA believes that offending officials must, at the very least, be dismissed from public office where appropriate following disciplinary and civil or criminal investigations," Semple said.

"The MEC must explain why her department entered into AOD agreements instead of suspending or dismissing officials. The DA will question the MEC on the criteria and reasoning behind this dubious decision and approach to dealing with fraud."

-by Sapa

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