Corruption in municipalities rife, conviction rate very low

2013-11-19 16:16

More than 500 cases of corruption involving officials have been recorded at municipalities the past four years, says Cooperative Governance Minister Lechesa Tsenoli.

“In total, 522 incidents/allegations of serious corruption were recorded by the end of June [this year],” he said in a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on yesterday.

His department had, since 2009, referred 745 allegations of fraud and corruption to law enforcement agencies for investigation.

This total excluded investigations being conducted or commissioned by provinces and municipalities.

“As of May 31 [this year], there were 408 arrests, of which 199 were municipal officials and 209 were members of the public.

“There have been a total of 176 convictions, 87 of which were government officials and 89 members of the public.”

Tsenoli said it had been noted that the conviction rate was very low.

He attributed this to various factors, including lack of cooperation by municipal officials unwilling to make statements; interference by unions, who advised their members not to make statements; and witnesses who refused to testify as whistle-blowers due to threats and intimidation.

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