Rot in the public service runs deep, says COPE

08 October 2012 - 02:30 By DENISE WILLIAMS
Paul Mashatile. File photo
Paul Mashatile. File photo

Fraud and corruption in the Department of Arts and Culture has highlighted that the rot within the public service runs deep.

Replying to a parliamentary question posed by COPE MP Juli Kilian, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said that during the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 financial years, 16 director-generals and deputy director-generals had been fired for mismanagement or gross financial negligence. More had been suspended, but were still receiving a cumulative pay cheque of R5-million. No funds allegedly stolen through fraudulent transactions had been recovered but criminal charges had been laid.

Department spokesman Lisa Combrinck said the dismissals and suspensions were the result of recommendations by the Special Investigating Unit.

Kilian said it was "remarkable" that so many senior employees were involved.

"This is regarded as one of the better managed departments. If we drill deeper into the rest of the public service, what will we find?"

Kilian said it was not enough to suspend employees, who more often than not simply resigned before disciplinary hearings had been concluded.

"We need a blacklist because people just go to other departments and become repeat offenders. There is no consequence for lack of performance, ill-discipline, theft or fraud," Kilian said.