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RATE IT | Cele, Ramaphosa and Zikalala’s action plan against KZN flood relief funds looters

22 April 2022 - 09:00
Police minister Bheki Cele says those who loot relief funds will face the full might of the law. File photo.
Police minister Bheki Cele says those who loot relief funds will face the full might of the law. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Police minister Bheki Cele warned government officials tasked with disbursing flood relief funds that looting will not be tolerated. 

“People who are plundering and stealing money will be arrested,” Cele said during a justice crime prevention and security cluster briefing on Thursday. 

The minister appealed to officials to “listen to their conscience” and consider the living conditions thousands were plunged into due to devastating floods. 

“The situation is dire there. A family of 12 was wiped out and only two people were left, and you have the audacity to go there and steal. You are not a human being. You are some kind of an animal. We need to appeal to the consciences of these people,” he said.

The minister echoed the sentiments of President Cyril Ramaphosa and KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala, who said relief funds should be used for their intended purposes. 

There have been simmering concerns among politicians and civilians about corruption and whether relief meant for victims will reach them. 

Ramaphosa announced on Monday that National Treasury identified R1bn in contingency reserve funds that can immediately be released to departments to assist families affected by the floods.

He said an oversight committee will ensure funds are used for their intended purpose.

There can be no room for corruption, mismanagement or fraud of any sort.

“Learning from the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are drawing together stakeholders to be part of an oversight structure to ensure all funds disbursed to respond to this disaster are properly accounted for and that the state receives value for money,” said Ramaphosa.

Zikalala said all resources allocated for flood relief and rebuilding efforts will “be used in line with fiscal rectitude, accountability, transparency and openness”.

“No amount of corruption, maladministration and fraud will be tolerated or associated with this province,” said Zikalala. 

“Work of quality and value for money will be done. We have monitoring institutions in place, including the auditor-general. We will act decisively without fear, favour or prejudice against anyone taking advantage of the resources meant to assist the needy communities.”

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