R1.4bn in municipal corruption has seen only R55m recovered

The Democratic Alliance on Thursday identified that there appears to be a woeful lack of consequence in corruption and fraud circumstances being investigated in native municipalities.

DA member of parliament Cilliers Brink mentioned in a press release that the businesses that implement the regulation had been seemingly not dedicated to investigating and fixing circumstances.

“Law enforcement businesses appear reluctant to analyze and prosecute circumstances of legal conduct by municipal officers and individuals doing enterprise with municipalities.

“According to a report introduced by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) earlier this week, the full value of native authorities fraud and corruption circumstances at present underneath investigation quantity to greater than R1.four billion,” Brink mentioned.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) revealed that, since 2002, only 32 corruption investigations had been solved. Only 13 convictions had been made together with the R55 million recovered.

“Municipal seize crooks appear to be getting away,” Brink mentioned.

He mentioned the DA would draft and ship inquiries to Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola to “decide precisely why part 173 prosecutions have been so few and much between”.

According to Brink, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Advocate Shamila Batohi admitted to Cogta’s portfolio committee there was a risk that some legal circumstances might “disappear”, however vowed to finish the apply.

“Cases of tender fraud and legal monetary misconduct in the nation’s metros are disappearing from the radar of regulation enforcement businesses, together with the NPA, SIU, and the Hawks,” Brink claimed.

Brink mentioned the DA needed the NPA to clarify why the prosecution of two administrators of an organization referred to as Setheo Engineering was provisionally withdrawn in October 2018.

“The case arose from a R126 million tender awarded by the City of Johannesburg to Sotheo Engineering in 2015. Substations had been to be constructed in Eldorado Park and Hopefield to stabilise the availability of electrical energy to those communities.

“Two Joburg officers, who had been subsequently suspended, organized for Setheo Engineering to obtain ahead funds to the worth of R66 million, however by 2017 the then DA-led City authorities found that only R2 million of the work had really been completed.

“Setheo Engineering was additionally discovered to have submitted a fraudulent financial institution assure for the efficiency of its obligations,” he mentioned.

He added that the DA needed to know why the SIU and the Hawks had not taken up the sensible meter rip-off in the City of Tshwane.

“There is not any proof {that a} monetary feasibility research was ever completed on the sensible meter challenge.

“By the time the municipality realised the deal was going to bankrupt the City, about 13,000 meters had already been put in, and billions of rands in fee had been paid to PEU. The Auditor-General discovered each cent of this cash to have been irregular.

“National Treasury had warned Tshwane in opposition to the sensible meter deal, however the former mayor, Kgosientso Ramakgopa, did not disclose this truth to Tshwane councillors when the ANC-majority voted to approve the PEU contract.

“Today Ramakgopa is an adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa,” added Brink.

Brink acknowledged it was troublesome to prosecute municipal officers suspected of legal conduct earlier than the enactment of part 173 of the Municipal Finance Management Act due to the heavy burden of proving fraud and corruption.

However, he mentioned it was not an excuse as there had been a low variety of convictions in the MFMA part 173 since 2004.

“Since 2004, this provision has criminalised monetary misconduct by municipal officers, together with their deliberate or grossly negligent failure to implement provide chain administration insurance policies or stop irregular expenditure. Why, then, have we seen so few MFMA part 173 convictions?” he requested.

“The DA will write to the NPA and the SIU to trace the progress of the Setheo and PEU circumstances,” he concluded.

For extra information your manner, Orignaly Published on https://citizen.co.za


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