Anti-corruption hotline makes its mark


4 September 2013

The South African government has recovered R330-million following tip-offs received via the National Anti-Corruption Hotline since its establishment in September 2004, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Over the same period, 17 110 cases of alleged corruption have been generated and a total of 2 638 officials found guilty of misconduct relating to corruption, Zuma said during a meeting with editors, bureau chiefs and political editors in Pretoria.

A total of 491 officials had been suspended and 1 600 dismissed from the Public Service, he said, while about 256 officials had been fined three months’ salary, 31 officials had been demoted, 541 officials had been given final written warnings, and 210 officials had been prosecuted.

The hotline, which is run by the Public Service Commission, enables South Africans to report anonymously on corrupt activities by public officials by calling 0800 701 701 toll-free. “We sincerely thank the public for this contribution to promoting clean governance,” Zuma said.

Zuma noted that public servants now had to go through a vetting process before being appointed.

He said the government has also established a multi-agency working group to investigate supply chain management practices, as well as an anti-corruption task team within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster in order 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), the Special Investigation Unit, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and representatives of the Financial Intelligence Centre, the NPA’s Special Commercial Crimes Unit, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the SA Revenue Service.

While the government and the media differed on a number of issues, Zuma said both 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,” Zuma said.

“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.

“We appreciate the role that the media is playing in our country already in this regard,” Zuma said, singling out Lead SA, founded by Primedia Broadcasting and supported by the Independent Group of Newspapers, as an example of such initiatives.