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 Presidency announces major corruption probes

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PosOnderwerp: Presidency announces major corruption probes   Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:51 pm


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Aug 12 2010 16:20

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Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, whose name was mentioned in the Brett Kebble murder trial this week, warned ANC members against corruption on Thursday, while the Presidency has announced corruption probes into several government departments.

According to a statement on the Presidency's website published on Thursday, Zuma has directed the SIU to "investigate supply chain related concerns" in seven government departments.

The SIU is an independent statutory body that is accountable to Parliament and the president.

"The SIU has started detailed investigations into these matters, and is treating them as ones of extremely high priority. Each investigation will be staffed by a substantial team of forensic investigators, lawyers, accountants and analysts," the Presidency said in the statement.

The departments include the Gauteng health department, the human settlements department, the arts and culture department, the education department in the Eastern Cape, the national public works department, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the SAPS.

The departments were "co-operating fully" with the probes.

In the arts and culture department, the SIU will focus mainly on the recovery of funds and ensuring accountability for wrongful spending that may be uncovered.

The department, said the Presidency, had already taken disciplinary action against a number of staff members.

Procurement will come under the spotlight in the public works department while the same, along with the mismanagement of funds, will be scrutinised in the Eastern Cape education department. The SIU has already been working with the social development department and SASSA "for several years" to look into irregularities in handing out social grants.


CONTINUES BELOW



Police under scrutiny
Meanwhile the statement said the probe against the police in particular had received "the full support of the National Commissioner of Police [General Bheki Cele], who is committed to ensuring that procurement within the SAPS is undertaken in a clear and transparent manner and in accordance with the necessary supply chain management prescripts".

The probe, mainly into procurement, "originates from a referral" by police watchdog, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), the Presidency said.

The proclamation was gazetted seven days after former police commissioner Jackie Selebi was sentenced to 15-years in jail for corruption.

It also comes after revelations about a "dodgy" multi-million rand property deal signed by Cele.

The R500-million property deal would see police headquarters move to the 18-storey Middestad Sanlam centre in Pretoria, which was owned by billionaire businessman Roux Shabangu, reported the Sunday Times last month.

According to the report the deal was allegedly not treated as a tender, violating Treasury regulations that all government contracts worth over R500 000 go through a bidding process.

Cele violently denied the Sunday Times report.

The Presidency said the SIU would look into the "procurement of and contracting for goods, works or services including leased accommodation, by or on behalf of the Service".

Mbalula's take
Meanwhile Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, whose name was mentioned in the Brett Kebble murder trial this week, warned ANC members against corruption on Thursday.

"ANC members who falter and engage in corrupt activities, they themselves must be arrested and must be named and shamed as corrupt," Mbalula told reporters in Johannesburg.

"People being corrupt... is counter-revolutionary," added the former leader of the ANC Youth League.

He was briefing the media on the Imvuselelo (renewal) campaign in which the ruling ANC aims to have one million members by 2012.

Mbalula was responding to a question on whether ANC members were allowed to tender for government contracts.

"ANC members are not excluded from tenders," he said.

"The ANC is a church, what we expect of ANC members, when they tender and run tenders, they must be exceptional."

He said the ANC did not want "tenderpreneurs" who "defaulted in the tender process" and ended up delivering bad services, such as poorly built houses and roads.

Mbalula was speaking a day after his name was mentioned in the High Court in Johannesburg, where convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti stands accused of killing Kebble.

The mining magnate's butler, Andrew Minnaar, told the court Kebble had a separate cellphone for "Fikile of the youth league", which was used for "confidential discussions".

The court also heard that Selebi was on Kebble's pay roll. -- Sapa
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