SIU probes staggering corruption cases

2011-03-30 23:42

kalahari.com

Cape Town - The special investigating unit (SIU) has been inundated with new cases revealing staggering corruption in the police, the public broadcaster, the land reform and housing subsidy systems, state departments and municipalities, MPs heard on Wednesday.

SIU head Willie Hofmeyr told Parliament's portfolio committee on justice: "We have received a flood of new cases. Some of them are very big."

He outlined 16 new proclamations received by the anti-graft unit in the past financial year, the most ever in its 15-year history, before commenting wryly that "few professionals in South Africa are honest".

The SIU was investigating the entire procurement chain in the public works department and had so far found that R35m was paid to entities in which officials had undeclared business interests.

The probe also found that an official had signed a lease for a residential property in Pretoria for R217 000 a month without the relevant approval, Hofmeyr said, stressing that it was "a single house, a big and expensive house but just one house".

The contract value to date exceeded R7m.

Serious criminality

SIU investigators have also found that the police's procurement process for the building or renovating of 33 police stations to the tune of R330m was deeply flawed.

Hofmeyr said at several stations the work was not put out to tender but contracts were instead awarded on what he facetiously called a "three quote" system.

"You have one quote for the desks and another quote for half the bricks, and another quote for the other half of the bricks. It is not, I think, a very desirable system."

The probe was focusing on Pienaar, Hazyview, Brighton Beach and eSikhawini police stations and had also found BEE fronting and instances where SAPS officials had interests in the contracted companies.

The longest-running project on the SIU's plate, its investigation into public housing corruption, has shown that at least half of all projects undertaken by the department of human settlements were "problematic in some way".

Investigators were probing contracts worth R2bn. Contractors were being paid for houses which did not exist at all, were extensively incomplete, seriously defective or fewer than the number agreed upon.

Hofmeyr said the SIU's probe into the cash-strapped SABC had uncovered "serious criminality" with R2.4bn paid out to businesses in which 20 company employees held interests between 2007 and 2010.

The unit opened eight criminal cases against staff members of which five had been finalised and handed to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Hofmeyr said the unit not only uncovered extensive corruption in the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni metros but had been asked by the national government to investigate all 23 municipalities in North West province.

In Tshwane, it found that 65 officials had interests in companies doing business with the metro that had received payments totalling R185m between 2007 and 2010.

Officials colluded with service providers, paid them for work that was not done and tampered with tender specifications.

At Ekurhuleni, "a number of people are in the process of being dismissed" for wrongdoing that included a director signing off on invoices to the value of R12.4m for services that were not delivered.

Endemic abuse

Hofmeyr said it was heartening that government departments were increasingly calling on the SIU to probe endemic abuse and noted that the department of land reform and rural development had asked it to scrutinise the entire land reform process.

He was expecting it to ask that the unit do the same on the land restitution system.

The land reform investigation saw the SIU conduct its biggest ever data swoop, with investigators effectively seizing more than 50 million documents to track fraudulent or irregular awarding of grants and funds.

With the help of the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the SIU has seized farms and assets in KwaZulu-Natal worth R50m and brought fraud and corruption charges against a businessman and three officials from the department.

In another new probe, the department of arts and culture was found to have incurred unauthorised expenditure of R42m related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Hofmeyr trod carefully on questions relating to the Public Protector's report on the R500m contract for the police's new headquarters in Pretoria, in which she found that the deal was fatally flawed and fingered national police commissioner Bheki Cele as the organisation's chief accounting officer.

But he conceded that on occasion the SIU had been "crippled" by the lack of co-operation from accounting officers, and like the protector, suggested that Treasury should step in.

"The public protector's solution was that Treasury should look at it and take the necessary steps, which may mean persuading the accounting officer to do it ... they carry a lot of persuasive value."

- SAPA

Read more on:    siu  |  willie hofmeyr  |  corruption
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SA men take relay silver

2014-07-25 23:12

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
62 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.