2 December 2010
The South African government has launched a special unit to tackle corruption in the country’s public service by investigating suspected corrupt officials, improving lines for reporting wrong-doing, and protecting whistleblowers and witnesses.
Launching the unit in Johannesburg last week, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said the unit would investigate officials with undisclosed business interests as well as official who did outside work without permission, who solicited bribes, or who received grants or benefits unlawfully.
Baloyi said the unit would operate in collaboration with the police Special Investigative Unit, the Auditor-General, the Public Service Commission, and the National Treasury.
Provincial anti-corruption units will also work hand-in-hand with the new unit, which is divided into three divisions to handle investigations, legal and disciplinary matters, and strategic information management.
It will conduct, facilitate and coordinate the investigation of high-profile cases and, where necessary, refer investigation outcomes to the relevant authorities for further action. It will also oversee disciplinary proceedings in high-profile cases.
“Our stance is zero tolerance on corruption,” Baloyi said, adding that rooting out corruption would lead in turn to a more efficient public service.
Last month, the Public Service Commission recommended the establishment of an anti-corruption unit in the public service because non-compliance and a lack of coordination was hampering the fight against corruption in government departments.