Corruption fight 'needs coherence'

2012-02-21 23:01

Johannesburg - The fight against corruption will only be won with more coherence in government, Asset Forfeiture Unit head Willie Hofmeyr said on Tuesday.

"If we are to deal with corruption effectively it is very important that the different parts and streams of government work more closely than... at the moment," he told the Institute of Internal Auditors SA public sector forum in Kempton Park.

"The difficulty... at the moment is that there is not a great coherence to what we do. There is not a single place where the accountability rests."

The government had begun dealing with this problem, said Hofmeyr.

Hofmeyr currently serves as deputy national director of public prosecutions for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).


He said the government had set a target of convicting 100 people, with illicit assets exceeding R5m, by 2014. The establishment of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) in the justice cluster was important in helping to achieve this.

"ACTT has already progressed with speed. It has initiated 56 investigations. Twenty-six [of them] are already in court... 21 had their assets frozen."

Hofmeyr said nearly half-a-billion rand had been seized and that the amount could increase to R1bn in the "foreseeable future." Public perception was that corruption had increased over the last five years, but that was not true.

"What we have succeeded in is building capacity. The number of people investigating full-time has increased dramatically. This is why we see a lot more [stories about] corruption in the newspapers."

Hofmeyr said the government's target proved it was "serious" about fighting corruption.

"It is not about bringing 100 people to court, it is about ensuring convictions. This [requires] a lot more resources than previously."

Civil penalties

He said various anti-corruption groups including the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit and the NPA, were debating different measures that could be used to prevent corruption, including issuing civil penalties.

"With the criminal justice system, you need to prove [a case] beyond a reasonable doubt and that is a high benchmark. If a contractor is found guilty, quadruple the amount of the tender in question could then be paid [as a civil penalty]. That means that there would be a R2bn penalty for a R500m tender."

One of the other proposals was to introduce a conditional amnesty for someone involved in a corrupt deal.

"There are two parties in corruption. If one party came forward first it would qualify for amnesty. This could cause a lot of trust issues," he joked.

He said much more needed to be done by everyone to fight corruption.

"No one disputes that it is not an easy war, but it is a war that has to be won... there could be some casualties along the way."

  • AyGeewils - 2012-02-21 23:20

    Needs a change of government - the ANC are powerless to root out the rampant theft and corruption in their own ranks.

      bernpm - 2012-02-22 12:35

      If the guidelines set for the Arms-deal investigation, as ordered and set by Pres Zuma, are anything to go by, this investigation will be another two year farce with no one being found in breach of any rule of ethics, honesty or found vaguely corrupt.

  • Kim - 2012-02-21 23:32

    The only casualties are going to be the fall of Parliaments members

      Francois - 2012-02-21 23:38

      I see a prophet!

      Francois - 2012-02-22 01:14

      Although the prophet might need to be careful. What gate is this, we cannot have Travelgate and Oilgate and ....Maybe we need to follow in Alice Cooper's foodsteps, no not "Your cruel device, your blood like ice", but rather "Some bad medicine". Zumer with the bloomer, is this why there was pressure on Hofmeyr some time ago?

  • berni.venter - 2012-02-22 00:13

    Very simple folks. If you don't report corruption, you are also prosecuted! Sure as hell going to blow the whistle before I get implicated!!!

  • Shadho - 2012-02-22 00:28

    haha!! Willie. I will give you a fraud and corruption case that will blow you right off the planet. This involves collusion between the Government and the Food and Beverage Industry as a whole. Yes the one matter has been registered with the SAPS CCU for two years. YET they refuse to intervene as much as all the evidence has been presented to the NPA. There are so many other complaints the Government have validated as being correct yet refuse to stop the heinous,despicable FRAUD and HEALTH abuse the South African community and citizens have faced and face on a daily basis for more years than can be guessed at. But then Again Willie, as so many Governmental Senior staff and Directors have told me. They are ALL one Government. NO BODY will help you or stop the fraud and abuses etc etc. NO ONE TELLS the Government what to do and how to do it or when to do it. Especially WHITE citizens and they don't give a flying rats b/side what political affiliation I may have. Not even the SAPS CCU or NPA will help you. Yes the Ministers of DAFF and Health and all there senior staff know whats been exposed. AS does the DTI and NCC yet nothing has been done. AND the President knows ,LOL. HOW WRONG THEY WILL SOON BE WHEN THE POPULATION RISES UP. YOU CAN ABUSE THEM, BUT FEED THEM CRAP AND DE FRAUD THEM AND YOU GOT A FIGHT THE GOVT WILL REGRET. So WILLIE. You going to be Routing out fraud and corruption etc, huh. I dare you to start with the Ministers DAFF and Health. I dare you!!

      elemental777 - 2012-02-22 00:54

      Mieliepap anyone

      luytster - 2012-02-22 13:37

      Must be them rat meat Halhall/Cosher burger patties. Let us in on your mission dude perhaps we the masses can help to overcome this injustise.

  • elemental777 - 2012-02-22 00:40

    I hope you eat your oaties every morning Willie cause them trenches are going to make WW1 action seem tame. In my opinion there can be no higher priority at this point than going after these corrupt mofo's on both side of the table with everything we can muster.Time that some prove there's no honour among thieves, give the co:operating party a lesser pounding for sure but not a free pass.They should be barred from getting any business for 5 yrs or similiar period and only after the other party has been convicted fully.As far as the penalty for the main party is concerned they must be jailed if the law allows for it and as much of the money recovered as is possible. Allow an Amnesty period of 2 months to all parties based on full disclosur and then give it to the SARS Demon hounds to check and verify.These guys need to be so S..t scared of the consequences that they will come forward en masse.

  • mariuskowie - 2012-02-22 06:46

    The known losses due to corruption is more than 25 billion. They target 1 billion..."Hofmeyr said nearly half-a-billion rand had been seized and that the amount could increase to R1bn in the "foreseeable future." Government trying to stop corruption, fat joke. What a bunch of make-believe.

  • braamc - 2012-02-22 06:49

    Great job Mr Hofmeyer!

  • Larry - 2012-02-22 07:56

    More Coherence?? Less corruption in Government would be a better headline.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-22 09:00

    I agree, coherence at the ballot box to get rid of the ANC.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-22 10:54

    Big words considering that government is considered to be corrupt and the police force totally untrustworthy. The ANC needs to remove the 18 wheeler parked in its eye before it try's to remove the speck from ours.

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