News24

Institute calls for corruption unit

2012-05-15 19:49

Johannesburg - A new, dedicated corruption-busting unit should be set up to bolster the work of the Hawks, the Institute of Accountability said on Tuesday.

"South Africans need to recognise and exercise their right to insist on an independent corruption fighting unit," the institute's director, Paul Hoffman, told the Cape Town Press Club.

The country deserved to have a best-practice solution to the systemic and endemic challenges posed by corruption.

South Africa lost an estimated R675bn to corruption every year - two thirds of the national budget.

Essential for success

A dedicated corruption unit - dubbed by Hoffman as the "Eagles" - should embody five traits essential for success.

He said these were specialisation, training, independence, sufficient resources, and security of tenure for staff.

In a Constitutional Court ruling last year, the law that created the Hawks was declared inconsistent with the Constitution, as it failed to secure an adequate degree of independence for the unit.

The SAPS amendment bill in its current form fell short in several key areas, Hoffman argued.

He recommended the establishment of the Eagles to Parliament last month during public hearings on the matter.

Independence

All but one submission was critical of the unit's ability to operate independently while housed inside the police structures.

"Ultimately answerable to the minister of police - a political appointee - the freedom of the Hawks to commence, proceed with and terminate investigations without fear, favour or prejudice is under threat," said Hoffman.

"Hawks are small, scarce and susceptible to poisoning. Eagles can see further, fly higher and go after bigger prey than Hawks."

The unit's broad mandate to investigate priority crime diluted their ability to effectively target corruption, he said.

Parliament must amend the law to satisfy the court judgment by 18 September.

Businessman Hugh Glenister has offered R300 000 to southern Africans who submit the best practice solution for this judgment's implementation.

"For democracy to function effectively, we need an active citizenry that holds its decision-makers to account. It is the intention of this competition to engage ordinary citizens in an issue that will define South Africa's future," Glenister said.

The Glenister Challenge is open to entrants in three categories: submissions can be made by individuals below 35 years, university teams, or individuals older than 35 years.

Comments
  • Mark - 2012-05-15 19:52

    Only happen when this particular corrupt ANC administration is sent packing.

      Arthur - 2012-05-15 20:12

      Under the ANC rule the anti-corruption unit will probably be corrupt.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-05-15 20:02

    Isn't it absurd and humiliating when a country needs an Institute of Accountability. Building structures within structures around castles built on sand

      Mark - 2012-05-15 20:09

      Downright humiliating.

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-15 20:26

      Like giving a pyromaniac a fire-extinguisher instead of taking away their matches

  • Sharon - 2012-05-15 20:11

    The eagles sounds good, but will only function until they go after a big fish. The scorpions were a victim of their own success, and showed that interference with the elite and their illegal looting will not be tolerated.

      Mark - 2012-05-15 20:14

      Ah yes, The Eagles - When hell freezes over

      Sharon - 2012-05-15 20:32

      Yup, they were here, but the tickets were so dang expensive and me broke because of tax, eskom, fuel - couldn't afford them!

      Martin - 2012-05-16 12:14

      I am happy i play no role in it, besides not withholding my tax ...im a minority, i was out voted in favour of corruption and poverty for the majority

  • Hannes Truter - 2012-05-15 20:20

    Get a dedicated corrupt unit (so many to choose from) such a corrupt unit know where to start their investigation...from the top downwoards!

  • Vernon - 2012-05-15 21:15

    please let us not go the greece route....16 billion in the coffers

  • Rob - 2012-05-15 21:31

    It would be cheaper to perform frontal lobotomies on all middle and upper rank public servants. Corruption down Improved mental capacity Improved credibility

  • chanki.modise - 2012-05-16 05:07

    south African ppl want to fight,eat corruption will this mafias on top positions go to bed with corruption

  • Carry - 2012-05-16 06:07

    THE ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT MUST START WITH THE GOVERNMENT FIRST - IN ORDER FOR THEM TO WORK WITHOUT ANY PRESSURE FROM THOSE ABOVE TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY. A FULL AUDIT INTO THIS COUNTRY'S MONETARY AFFAIRS WILL MAKE FOR REAL INTERESTING TIMES.

  • Carry - 2012-05-16 06:10

    THE CORRUPT IN THE anc GOVERNMENT KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH THE FRAUD - WE MUST SET AN EXAMPLE OF TAKING THESE POLITICIANS TO TASK FOR THEIR BEHAVIOUR. WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT, AS THIS IN ITSELF HAS SET A PRECIDENT.

  • Jeffrey - 2012-05-16 06:43

    This is the problem. To whom will the unit be accountable? The broader issue is the accountability of MPs who are accountable only to their own party and not to constituencies (don't make waves and you will go far) This tends to make a mockery of our alleged democracy

      Martin - 2012-05-16 12:16

      they should be accountable to the tax payer...

  • Tristan - 2012-05-16 10:02

    This is a step in the right direction. Its taken long to get ride of the 'hawk' government puppets. If the Eagles do get put into place, the public must protect them more fiercely, and not allow the government to disband them, like we did with the scorpions. Frankly, we all should have fought harder for them, they are our first line of defense against corruption, the media the second. If we allow the corruption units to fall and the 'info' bill to be put in place, we as a people have failed our own democracy. They will protect us, but we must protect them.

  • pages:
  • 1