Hotline brings corrupt officials to book

22 November 2010

South Africa’s National Anti-Corruption Hotline has played a key role in bringing 245 corrupt government officials to book, and for the recovery of around R100-million from officials found guilty of fraud, since its launch six years ago.

President Jacob Zuma, responding to questions in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, said that of the 245 officials found guilty of misconduct, 35 had been suspended, 120 given final written warnings, and 80 dismissed.

“It is clear that the hotline has had positive spin-offs, not only in terms of monetary value but also in terms of disciplinary action taken against perpetrators,” Zuma said.

He added that the Public Service Commission was following up with departments on outstanding cases reported to the hotline, and that the police’s Special Investigation Unit had also been instructed to probe alleged maladministration and corruption in several government departments, municipalities and agencies.

The toll-free hotline – 0800 701 701 – can be used by anyone wishing to report cases of corruption by government officials.

To intensify the fight against corruption, an inter-ministerial committee had also been set up to ensure the alignment of state corruption-busting initiatives.

“[Fighting] corruption should … unite all of us to ensure clean governance in both government and the private sector,” Zuma said.

To strengthen South Africa’s general governance mechanisms, Zuma said the government had started work on a green paper on cooperative governance. The paper was due to be released for public comment by February 2011.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko said on Friday that the progress made by the state in fighting corruption in the public sector should be matched by an equally vigorous effort by the private sector.

He said the government was “concerned at the willingness shown by individuals and companies in the private sector to transact with the public sector in unethical and dishonest ways.

“The government wishes to stress the fact that the fight against corruption is a fight by all sectors and citizens, beginning with individuals,” Maseko said.

Source: BuaNews