17 February 2012
The South African government takes the fight against crime and corruption extremely seriously, President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation debate reply on Thursday, noting that the country’s Anti-Corruption Task Team is successfully tackling graft in both the public and private sectors.
“We reiterate our undertaking we made in 2009 to combat crime in tender processes,” Zuma said in Parliament in Cape Town. “Our announcement about vetting supply chain personnel is one of the interventions in this regard.”
Members of the opposition raised concerns on Wednesday about crime and corruption, particularly in South Africa’s public sector. Assets obtained through illicit means amounting to more than R1-billion have been forfeited by the state in the past two years.
R600-million in assets seized
In his reply, Zuma said the Anti-Corruption Task Team, made up of representatives from the country’s various security agencies, was currently investigating 45 corruption-related priority cases against 151 accused people, with assets in excess of R600-million having been seized.
In addition, Zuma said, since the inception of the National Anti-corruption Hotline, which is managed by the Public Service Commission, 1 499 officials had been charged with misconduct and corrupt activities at national and provincial government levels.
“We will not become complacent,” Zuma said. “We are increasing the number of skilled personnel in areas such as crime scene investigation, forensic analysis, finger printing and investigation, prosecutions and legal aid, which will further improve performance in this regard.”
The impact of the improvements in the investigative and forensic capacity was evident in the improved detection rates for serious crimes.
Regarding cross-border crime, Zuma said the deployment of the South African Defence Force on South Africa’s border was “yielding results. We are clamping down on illicit economic and crime-related border activities.”
On rehabilitation of prisoners, Zuma said the Department of Correctional Services had introduced electronic monitoring of offenders who had been granted parole and reintegrated in society.
To promote access to justice, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development had completed additions to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein as well as constructing a new wing in the Western Cape High Court.
Three new courts had been completed in the Tsakane, Ntuzuma and Kagiso townships, and construction would soon be complete on a new High Court in Limpopo province, as well as a new court in Katlehong.
“We will also be starting with the construction of a new High Court in Mpumalanga, and that of new courts in Mamelodi, Port Shepstone, Dimbaza, Bityi and Plettenberg Bay,” Zuma said.