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Mon Nov 24 07:14:15 CAT 2014

At last, there is real progress in fighting state corruption

The Times Editorial | 25 February, 2013 00:36

The Times Editorial: The government's decision to name and shame its corrupt officials is a first step in the right direction and in convincing South Africans that something is at last being done.

Though the announcement by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe yesterday is long overdue, we welcome it.

Radebe said yesterday that, within a matter of days, 32 public servants will be named and shamed publicly, and state officials who benefited by more than R5-million from corrupt activities will have their assets frozen.

"We want to ensure that the public is conscious of what has happened because, for some time, when people talk about corruption, it's just a number," Radebe said.

He said the state is yet to decide whether to use electronic media, newspapers, radio or television to publish the information.

Last week Minister in The Presidency Trevor Manuel urged the government to deal harshly with corrupt public servants, stressing that they must be held accountable.

We need get value for our money.

Richard Levin, the Public Service Commission's director-general, said that in the 2006-2007 financial year corruption had cost the government R130.6-million.

This had ballooned to R932.3-million in 2010-2011.

For years now the public has been calling on the state get rid of the "rotten apples" whose goal is to pocket our taxes.

We must hope that the name-and-shame decision by the government is not linked to the national elections next year.

We also hope that Radebe and his boss, President Jacob Zuma, will act quickly to fill critical vacant posts in the justice cluster.

Presently there is no head of the Crime Intelligence Unit, no director-general of the State Security Agency, and no heads of the domestic and foreign intelligence services.

The fight against crime and corruption should be our priority and the state should leave no stone unturned.

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