12 July 2013
The South African government is to launch an anti-corruption bureau to deal with corruption at all levels of the public service, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced on Friday.
Speaking at a New Age breakfast in Pretoria, Sisulu said the bureau will put paid to the “mobile” corrupt employee who, charged with corruption in one province, resigned before the case was heard, moved to another province or municipality to find employment and carried on with corrupt activities.
“We have identified this important loophole and have put a stop to it, because we will now have one central data base that will help us contain this abuse.”
Sisulu said that a decision had been taken that no corrupt public servant would be allowed to do business with government. This was to ensure that an environment of corrupt practices was not allowed to flourish.
Sisulu said corruption existed at two levels, first at the level of direct bribery of officials and the second at the level of procurement processes.
“Bribery of officials normally involves all of us, all of society, and invariably it involves the frontline public servants and especially law enforcement public servants,” she said.
“Our message to our citizens is very clear – that offering and paying a bribe is corrupt practice and it is illegal and it carries a heavy penalty. Do not bribe a policeman, a traffic officer or a public servant, because if you do, you are not only encouraging corrupt activity, you are committing a crime.”
Sisulu called on members of the public to report an officer or public servant who requested or demanded a bribe, adding that the Department of Public Service and Administration would be taking steps to explain to the public how to go about reporting corruption.
Meanwhile, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega has announced the launch of an internal anti-corruption unit to combat fraud and corruption within the South African Police Service (SAPS).
“If we are to successfully fight crime in the country, we must first get our house in order. We must fight crime with clean hands. We will therefore not shy away from taking action against our own. We will certainly do it with boldness,” Phiyega said at the launch of the Free State Province Crime Prevention Strategy.