South Africa Recovers R330 Million Via Anti-Corruption Hotline

Pretoria - Government has recovered R330 million after investigations into allegations of corruption received by the National Anti-Corruption Hotline, which is run by the Public Service Commission.

A total of 17 110 cases of alleged corruption have been generated between September 2004 and 31 August 2013, while a total of 2 638 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities in the same period.

This was revealed by President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday while he was addressing a meeting with editors, bureau chiefs and political editors in Pretoria.

At the provincial level, a total of 1 728 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities, whilst 910 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities at national departments.

Zuma said a total of 491 officials were suspended and 1 600 were dismissed from the Public Service.

About 256 officials were fined three months' salary, 31 officials were demoted, 541 officials were given final written warnings and 210 officials were prosecuted.

The hotline, which is run by the Public Service Commission, has been in operation since September 2004 and allows people to report allegations of corrupt activities by public officials.

Zuma used the opportunity to thank the members of the public who contributed to the promotion of clean governance.

"We sincerely thank the public for this contribution to promoting clean governance."

Public service has also been a concern in terms of delivery in the country, which has forced government to come up with the Batho Pele slogan to prioritise service delivery to the public, among others.

However, corruption has always been a challenge and government has now taken an initiative, where public servants will have to go through vetting before being appointed.

To promote coordination, Zuma said government has also established the Multi-Agency Working Group to investigate supply chain management practices and also the Anti-Corruption Task Team within the Justice, Crime and Prevention Security Cluster, whose mandate is to fast-track high-priority and high-profile corruption cases.

This team comprises the heads of the National Treasury, the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Special Investigation Unit, National Director of Public Prosecutions, and representatives of other institutions, such as the Financial Intelligence Centre, the NPA's Special Commercial Crimes Unit, Asset Forfeiture Unit and SA Revenue Services.

Acknowledging that government and media differed on many decisions, President Zuma said they too, however, had a responsibility to strengthen and deepen democracy and to make South Africa a prosperous society with improved living standards for all.

"Freedom of expression is one of the key achievements of our young democracy, the freedom to disagree and to be free to express that disagreement.

"At the same time, we believe the media has a responsibility as well in a young democracy and a developing country like ours, to promote hope, nation building, development and unity."

He commended the initiatives by media houses that show the caring side of South African society.