Fight against graft 'dismal'
A scathing report on government corruption has highlighted "grave concerns" about the lack of commitment to fighting the scourge.
The Public Service Commission report - presented at a recent Independent Police Investigative Directorate conference in Bloemfontein - revealed dismal performance in investigating corruption in state departments.
The report, by commissioner Selinah Nkosi, focused on allegations of corruption made to the National Corruption Hotline since its establishment in 2004, feedback from the police and the independent police watchdog, and the results of national and provincial government investigations of corruption.
Nkosi expressed "grave concern" about corruption and the inability of government departments to investigate it rigorously.
Nkosi criticised both the police and the police watchdog for their failure to report on their investigations.
The National Corruption Hotline had received feedback on only 45% of independent directorate investigations, and on only 53% of investigations by the police . The directorate and the police had closed only 28% and 41% of corruption cases, respectively, Nkosi said.
"The lack of feedback is forcing the commission to consider issuing summonses against [state] departments.
"The commission believes that all government departments must streamline procurement processes to eradicate corruption, with department heads held accountable if disciplinary action is not instituted within 60 days."
Tendersure CEO Werner Coetzee said the cost of corruption to South Africa was estimated to be as much as R675-billion.
"We extrapolated this figure from organisations such as the World Bank and World Trade Organisation, which estimate the total cost of a country's corruption being 20% of the total spent on tenders - which for South Africa is extremely frightening," he said.
Paul Hoffman, director of the Institute for Accountability, said: "Willie Hofmeyr, of the Asset Forfeiture Unit, estimates that R30-billion goes down the corruption tube through government tenders, and arms-deal expert Andrew Feinstein estimates the value of bribes paid in that deal at R2.1-billion."
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini said the lack of feedback was due to "some matters still being investigated [or] feedback being given direct to the complainants".
THE FACTS AND FIGURES
137512 calls received;
14300 possible corruption cases identified;
9582 of the 14300 cases sent to government departments for investigation;
Feedback received on only 4859 cases;
Of 4859 cases, 3381 finalised; and
Of those successfully investigated, 603 officials fired, 226 suspended, 134 fined, 16 demoted, 330 given a final written warning, 190 prosecuted - and R120-million recovered.
TOP FORMS OF CORRUPTION
Abuse of government resources/vehicles;
Mismanagement of government funds; and
Identity document fraud.