Cape Town — Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says over 3 000 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to cases reported via the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH).
The Minister said this when he led a briefing of the Governance and Administration Cluster at the Imbizo Centre on Thursday.
“The closure rate underscores a commitment by government departments to investigate allegations of corruption as reported through the NACH.
“A total of 3 600 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline in the public service between 1 September 2004 and 31 January 2017,” he said.
He said out of these:
Approximately 1 700 officials were dismissed from the public service;
A total of 447 officials were fined, with some of them not receiving a salary for three months, and
Some 137 officials were demoted, 921 officials were given final written warnings, while 395 officials were prosecuted.
The Minister said the Anti-Corruption Hotline, managed by the Public Service Commission, is a proactive tool in fighting corruption.
He said as at 31 January 2017, 18 778 cases were referred to government departments, and feedback on 17 240, or 92%, cases was received.
“Of the total number of cases referred, 16 947 [90%] cases were closed.
“The successful investigation of cases of alleged corruption reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline resulted in the recovery of R410 million from perpetrators.
“It is, therefore, evident that the National Anti-Corruption Hotline has yielded positive results, not only in terms of monetary value but also in terms of disciplinary action taken against perpetrators,” he said.
Public Servants barred from doing business with the state
The Minister said, meanwhile, that it is now impossible for public servants to do business with the State.
He said the revised Code of Conduct for Public Service employees, which came into effect on 1 August 2016, prohibits public service employees from conducting any form of business with organs of the State – whether in their own capacity as individuals or through companies in which they are directors.
“To manage the prohibition process, the 2016 Public Service Regulations had provided transitional arrangements, ensuring that from 1 February 2017, no public service employee will have business interests involving an organ of state.
“In terms of these transitional arrangements, by 31 January 2017, those who were doing business with an organ of State, should have relinquished that specific business interest or opted to resign from the public service.
“The information regarding compliance on this provision is being collated and government departments would be required to ensure that the necessary disciplinary steps are taken against those found to be in violation of these regulations,” he said.
The Minister said, meanwhile, that 98% of public servants had declared their financial interests by the closing date of 31 May 2016.
He said this was an increase of 16% in the submission rate compared to 82% recorded during the previous financial year [2014/15].
“This declaration rate, as at the due date, by both the national and provincial departments, is the highest since the inception of the Disclosure Framework.
“To further strengthen the ethical culture of public employees, the Financial Disclosure System, which previously only required members of Senior Management Services to declare their financial interests, will be extended to middle managers, employees in the supply chain management and those working in finance units, ethics officers as well as employees of the Office of the Public Service Commission, who verify financial interests disclosed by Senior Management Services members.
“All these employees will now be expected to use the electronic financial disclosure (eDisclosure) system and declare their financial interests between the 1st and 30th of April annually.”