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State turns blind eye to corruption, wastes our taxes

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2011-10-19 00:16:25.0

The Times Editorial: National police commissioner Bheki Cele yesterday confirmed in parliament that a deposed provincial police crime intelligence boss was paid millions to go away.

Joey Mabasa was given, according to Cele, "a section 35 on the basis that there was restructuring and his position was given out by the restructuring".

But there are many unanswered and deeply troubling questions about Mabasa and his payout, including allegations, which were the subject of a disciplinary hearing, that he had links to criminals.

The chairman of the parliamentary security portfolio committee, listening to Cele yesterday, was clearly not buying his explanation. Neither were her committee colleagues.

After hearing that 19 police officers had been retrenched during the past two financial years, at a cost of R31-million, chairman Sindi Chikunga said: "I'm not paying for this ... if I had a way of revolting against it, I would.

"If this continues, we will have to find a solution as a portfolio committee; for example, not voting for the budget."

The SA Police Service is but one of many departments that use taxpayers' money to either make their problems go away or to fund the idleness of suspended officials.

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka is a perfect example of an unresolved problem that taxpayers have been made to fund, despite President Jacob Zuma's promise to act once the Public Protector's report was completed.

This seeming tolerance of wrongdoing can be found in every sphere of government.

Officials caught with their hands in the cookie jar are not dismissed with speed and due processes. What does this say about a collective will to deal with dishonest, corrupt and unfit public officials?

It says so very clearly that, not only is corruption tolerated, but our government has no qualms about wasting our money.

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