President Cyril Ramaphosa told the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday afternoon that a framework for the lifestyles audits of top government officials he promised during his State of the Nation Address earlier this year would be ready by the end of October.
He did not give an official date for when the audits would kick off, saying a "robust" framework had to first be developed. High ranking officials in the executive would then have to go through the lifestyle audit process.
Ramaphosa said multiple agencies in crime prevention and financial intelligence were meeting with director general in the Presidency Cassius Lubisi to design and develop the system.
A task team has been set up comprising of the Presidency, the Auditor General, the South African Revenue Service, SA Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Task Team, the Public Service Commission, the Financial Intelligence Centre and other entities.
“We are bringing together agencies of high class. Allow us space and time to finalise this. I can tell you that we are going have this by the end of October,” Ramaphosa said.
"We didn't want to go with a process with holes that could be easily circumvented," he said.
NCOP member for the DA Jacques Julius expressed scepticism, challenging Ramaphosa to promise that Deputy President David Mabuza would be subjected to a an audit. He alluded to a sponsored flight Mabuza took to receive medical attention in Russia in 2015.
In response, Ramaphosa said there would be no exception to the rule that members of Cabinet and officials of high rank be subjected to lifestyle audits.
"I have said we are going to have a lifestyle audit," Ramaphosa said. "That is going to happen."
"When?" some EFF MP's asked.
The president replied that whenever he is in the NCOP, MPs seem to be in a hurry. He said it is important that the lifestyle audits being developed are robust and effective.
"I will be subjected [to a lifestyle audit]," he added. "Where there is wrongdoing, there should be action.