10 June 2013
South African Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe has released the names of 42 people convicted of fraud and corruption – and promised to release many more – as a sign of the government’s intent to clamp down on corrupt officials.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Friday, Radebe said this “aggressive stance has been initiated to ensure that, for the first time in the history or our democracy, criminals in our society will be made known and held accountable for their actions publicly.”
Radebe said the 42 people named were prioritised because of the huge amounts of money involved in their cases.
He said more names from a long list of over 3 000 convicted individuals would be released later.
Radebe said the list of convicted fraudsters would be posted on government websites to ensure that they were not re-employed in any government department. “They will be blacklisted to ensure that they do not move from one government department to another.”
Among those named are Boy Meshack Thekiso, David Mtsoane and Teboho Masoleng, who were sentenced to 25 years and 15 years respectively.
They were part of a syndicate that defrauded the Post Bank. The syndicate managed to obtain access to the Post Bank’s computer system, transferring funds to fraudulent Post Bank accounts.
According to Radebe, for the 2012/13 financial year, criminal investigations had been recorded against 242 people in 89 priority cases of corruption involving R5-million or more per incident.
He said a further 758 people were currently under investigation for suspected corruption, and that asset “freezing” orders to the value of R1.07-billion had been obtained.
These included asset forfeiture orders for R14.7-million brought against former Land Bank CEO Philemon Mohlahlane and Gauteng businessman Dan Mofokeng.
The investigations were being conducted by the government Anti-Corruption Task Team set up by President Jacob Zuma in 2010.
The task team is an interdepartmental body pooling the resources of the National Prosecution Authority, Asset Forfeiture Unit, Special Investigation Unit, Financial Intelligence Centre, SA Revenue Service and National Treasury to fast-track investigations of high-priority corruption cases.