'Rather tell us the truth or keep quiet' - MPs grill Anti-Corruption Task Team

2016-09-14 12:48
Berning Ntlemeza (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Berning Ntlemeza (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – How much is the fight against corruption costing? 

What is your conviction rate? Why should we as MPs think you are even remotely effective and why should we give you a budget?

These are some of the questions the Anti-Corruption Task Team faced when they appeared in front of Parliament’s standing committee of public accounts on Wednesday.

Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza was in the spotlight as MPs warned him to be truthful in his engagements with the committee.

"If you lie to us, there is going to be a problem. Rather tell us the truth or keep quiet," ANC MP Vincent Smith told the anti-corruption delegation.

The task team was presenting its programmes to the committee, but MPs were not overly impressed with their output. 

The task team seemed unprepared, and mostly fumbled through the first set of questions, before the NPA’s Nomgcobo Jiba asked for an adjournment to liaise in order to get their answers straight.

They were questioned on the frequency of their meetings, as well as their seemingly unpreparedness.

Ntlemeza was accused of running a casual ship when he couldn’t give answers on the attendance of members of the task team, and who exactly did not show up on meetings. 

'Vague' report slammed

Ntlemeza told the committee that, since it was created, the task team had dealt with 189 cases.

Sixty-eight cases had been finalised, while they had 77 cases under investigation. 

There were 44 serious corruption cases on the court roll. 

The number of people convicted of corruption involving R5m or more was 128. Most of them had been arrested between 2010 and 2014.

Ntlemeza told the committee that more than 460 officials had been involved in the cases, amounting to just over R10bn.

Most were in Gauteng, with 125 officials involved, while the Eastern Cape had 76 and the Free State had 78.

The committee lamented the "vague" nature of the report, calling for more specific numbers.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Ntombovuyo Mente wanted a full list of names of convicted government workers.

She said, because there was no clear record, these convicted workers then ended up working for government again.

A crook was always a crook, she said.

Read more on:    parliament  |  hawks  |  berning ntlemeza  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  corruption

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