Ricochet News

Between R300 000 and R49 million stolen in the province through corruption

By Afikile Lugunya - Dec 8, 2017
Between R300 000 and R49 million stolen in the province through corruption

Between R300 000 and R49 million has been stolen from Eastern Cape municipalities through tender fraud dating back to 2012. This was revealed at an International Anti-Corruption Day event that was hosted in Grahamstown, in the Makana Local Municipality, on Thursday by the Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape.

The event, which took place at the Grahamstown City Hall, was hosted in collaboration with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Eastern Cape with the aim of intensifying fight against corruption in the Province and to encourage a culture of ethical behaviour and integrity within government and civil society.

It is based on the understanding that the fight against corruption can only be won through the involvement and active participation of communities, business and faith based organizations. The ultimate goal is to appeal to people’s conscience and reawaken their good morals and societal values for the benefit of a corrupt free service delivery and lifestyle.  .

This year’s commemorations were held two days before the actual date in the Province, as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption declared the 9th of December as International Anti-Corruption Day. 

The day started with interactions with general motorists and distribution of information in a taxi rank, and proceeded to the gathering of civil servants and members of the public at the local City Hall.

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Speaking at the event, Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lt General, Liziwe Ntshinga, said that police in the province were making inroads in fighting corruption and fraud at public institutions.

"In 2012, we have arrested nine people in the Buffalo City Municipality for a case of fraud and corruption involving R15 million. So, in this particular situation, the service provider issues an invoice for services that were never rendered - municipal officials benefited in this deal.

"In 2013, in the Joe Gqabi District Municipality, we also arrested nine people - six of whom have been convicted already and are awaiting sentencing. In this case, senior officials were involved in a case amounting to R500 000, which could not be accounted for during an audit of the municipality's finances.

"So, the amount stolen from the public purse ranges from R300 000 to R49 million at different institutions."

Addressing the gathering, Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, said that the province has a plan to defeat corruption and promote accountability.

“We want to work with our communities to ensure that our leadership is just right - and corruption-free, because that denies us the opportunity to develop our communities at a faster rate,” he described.

Acting Regional Head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Claudia O'Brien, said that evidence of corruption amounting to R3.8 billion has been referred to the courts - either in defence or for the institution of civil cases.

“We also set aside contracts to the value of R4 billion. In some instances SIU was able to intervene when we find the corrupt act where we find the department is about to incurr a loss. Last year, we were able to save a R106 million in four different instances where we were able to intervene,” she added.

“In terms of recently proclamations, the SIU has recently received the Alfred Nzo Local Municipality proclamation and the second one is also the Department of Transport.

“This means that we will be looking at the irregular licences, motor vehicle licensing, conversion of licences, road worthy certificates et cetra - and all of that will be investigated. We are also waiting for proclamations for the Nkonkobe Local Municipality as well as for the Mbashe Local Municipality."