The political economy of corruption has reached fever…

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For some time I have been trying to encourage the President to act decisively when it comes to his promise to rid us of corrupt elements both within the ANC and in government in general. Well, his timidity, or should I say his cowardice, with regard to both the Zondo report on state capture and the more recent report on corruption and government personal protective equipment (PPE) leaves a lot to be desired. Abdicating responsibility to others – including the NPA – is not what most of us expected, sir.

“The final report details the matters referred by the SIU (Special Investigation Unit) to the NPA, public sector departments and entities, and other parties, who will finalize the process of prosecuting wrongdoers and remedy identified weaknesses. by the SIU investigation. ”

Yes, law enforcement must do their job and yes, many must be brought to justice, but what about your responsibility and the responsibility of those in your government? What do you do with these elements, sir? Certainly, more immediate steps can be taken to suspend, fire or warn some of our government officials involved in the report. After all, the cases are staggering.

According to the presidency, investigations have been finalized concerning 4,549 PPE contracts, of which 2,803 contracts were deemed irregular. This represents 62% of completed investigations.

“The delivery of the final report is an important step in our fight against corruption in the public and private sectors and against maladministration. This survey targeted individuals and institutions who believed they could exploit a moment of national vulnerability to enrich themselves and those with whom they colluded to abuse public resources. It is unacceptable that so many contracts associated with saving lives and protecting livelihoods are improper, illegal or fraudulent,” Ramaphosa said.

Since the beginning of the investigation, the SIU, in cooperation with other agencies, has made progress in managing the consequences arising from the investigation, the presidency said.

He noted that 45 cases – constituting a combined value of R2.1 billion – have been filed with the Special Court on Corruption, Fraud and Illicit Money Flows. This court has a statutory mandate to recover public funds diverted from the tax authorities through corruption, fraud and illicit money flows, and engages in civil action that is more flexible and less time-consuming than confrontation.

The SIU made 224 referrals for disciplinary action against officials of government departments or entities, and 386 referrals to the NPA, as well as three referrals for executive action. It is on these disciplinary referrals that I would have liked to see immediate action by your cabinet, Mr. President. Let’s be bold and make the tough decisions that are required regardless of your party’s political considerations, sir.

In addition, the SIU made 330 referrals for administrative action, including blacklisting. Can we expect this to be done as soon as possible? The rand value of cash and real assets to be recovered based on the investigation is R551.5 million, while cash and assets recovered to date total R34.2 million.

The value of potential losses avoided by the investigation is R114.2 million, while canceled contracts amount to R170.4 million. “With respect to prosecutions, the presidency expects the NPA to exercise its discretion diligently and expeditiously,” said presidency spokesman Tyrone Seale.

In summary:

  • The SIU investigated 5,467 contracts awarded to 3,066 service providers with a total value of R14.3 billion;
  • Investigations were finalized for 4,549 contracts – and 2,803 contracts were found to be irregular;
  • Forty-five cases – with a combined value of R2.1 billion – have been filed with the Special Court on Corruption;
  • The SIU made 224 referrals for disciplinary action against officials of government departments or entities;
  • The Rand value of cash and real assets to be recovered based on the investigation is R551.5 million;
  • The value of the potential loss avoided by the investigation is R114.2 million; and
  • The value of the contracts set aside exceeds R170 million.

However, only R34.2 million has been recovered so far.

All of the above points to the sad reality of how the public and private sectors collude and engage in corrupt practices to defraud the people. After all, it’s our money. As we face a devastating pandemic.

How the president moves forward on these two reports could very well define his presidency. Promises were made, the electorate gave you a mandate, now execute, execute, execute.

The so-called RET forces have apparently found new life now that they have won some regional conferences, but that will be short-lived, I’m sure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the handling of these two crucial reports can most certainly determine the outcome of the ANC’s December elective conference. This Stalingrad approach is what we need now, Mr. President. The unity speech now feels like flogging a dead horse and you know it.

Be all you can be, be presidential. Use these two reports to effectively put an end to these corrupt practices that are stifling progress in our country. Elements who openly engaged in such practices should know that no one will get away with it, especially those who participated in such criminal activities while a state capture commission is underway. What a slap in the face for ordinary South Africans and especially for you, Mr. President, since it was your office that set up such a commission.

As for the continuous and continuous budgetary constraints denounced and always put forward by the NPA to do its job effectively, well they too need a kick in the back. Minister Ronald Lamola has come a long way to build the capacity of the NPA, both human resource and monetary, and frankly, that excuse is running out. Do your job with what you have.

The political economy of corruption in our country has reached its peak, the SIU report on PPE corruption and the Zondo Commission report are effective tools for self-correction “net n bietjie”. Let’s not waste this opportunity. Give us, the electorate, a reason why we should vote for you again, Mr. Speaker. DM


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