27 January 2015 - 12:00am
The statement made by the Premier of the Western Cape, Ms Helen Zille in her newsletter, that government has disbanded the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) is incorrect and baseless.
The ACTT is fully operational and has been strengthened under the leadership of the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee led by the Minister in the Presidency for Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Jeff Radebe. It is disappointing that the Premier has decided to spread misleading information and gossip when she could have easily established the facts and imparted accurate information to the public.
In June 2014 the Antic-Corruption IMC confirmed and concretised the role of the Anti-Corruption Task Team as the central body mandated to give effect to government anti-corruption agenda, as collectively informed by the National Development Plan (NDP), Medium Term Strategic Framework (MSTF), the National Security Strategy (NSS) and the country’s international obligations. The Unit has scored visible successes and government looks up to it to work even harder to assist in rooting out corruption.
The South African government has adopted a multi-agency approach on which comprehensive anti-corruption architecture, which is composed of a range of institutions to address corruption from different angles. This sets the direction towards ensuring that a resilient anti-corruption system is in place.
To this end a number of changes have taken place in 2014, and notable are the following:
• The Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019 acknowledges that the country faces intolerably high levels of corruption within the public and private sectors, and that corruption undermines the rule of law and impedes government’s efforts to achieve its socio-economic development and service delivery objectives.
• In terms of the MTSF the reduction of corruption is a specific priority outcome for government (Outcome 3, Output7).
A number of strategies to address corruption were subsequently developed, initiatives were launched and mechanisms established to expose corrupt practices in South Africa:
• In October 2009 the Minister of Finance established a Multi-Agency Working Group (MAWG) to deal with procurement issues relating to corruption and irregularities within government’s procurement system.
• In July 2010 the President tasked the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster with the establishment of a task team to fast-track investigations and prosecution.
• The Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) was formed in October 2010 to give effect to the tasking given by the President in July 2010.
Other measures strengthening the anti-corruption work of government include the following:
• The Public Service Special Anti-Corruption Unit, which was established to enhance and consolidate the fight against corruption in the public service and the work done within the Department of Public Service and Administration, established to fast-track the processing of the disciplinary cases within the public service and to curb corruption.
• The work done by the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks).
• The Special Investigation Unit (SIU), which was established by law as an independent statutory body that fights corruption through investigations and litigation, and which is currently processing several proclamations from the President directing it to probe maladministration and corruption within the public service.
• The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), within the National Prosecuting Authority, which is tasked to seize assets of people involved in crime or corruption
• The NPA’s Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit and the various regional courts, which have been prioritising corruption cases, and
• The Multi-Agency Working Group which was set up by the Minister of Finance to coordinate and investigate corruption related to supply chain management practices.
Government has also enacted various pieces of legislation that empower business, government and NGO’s to act against corruption.
These include the following:
• The Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation No. 103 of 1994)
• The Public Protector Act, 1994 (Act No. 23 of 1994)
• The Intelligence Services Control Act, 1994 (Act No. 40 of 1994)
• The Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No. 74 of 1996)
• The International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Act, 1996 (Act No. 75 of 1996)
• The National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 (Act No. 32 of 1998)
• The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997 (Act No. 105 of 1997)
• The Executive Members Ethics Act, 1998 (Act No. 82 of 1998)
• The Witness Protection Act, 1998 (Act No. 112 of 1998)
• The Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 1998 (Act No. 121 of 1998)
• The Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No.1 of 1999) and the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003)
• The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000)
• The Protected Disclosure Act, 2000 (Act No. 26 of 2000)
• The Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (Act No. 28 of 2001)
• The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004)
• The Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No 58 of 1962)
South Africa has also acceded to and ratified a number of important international anti-corruption instruments, which include the following instruments, the implementation of which has been strengthened since 2009:
• The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), through which we are cooperating with other countries in every aspect of the fight against corruption, including prevention, investigation, and the prosecution of offenders. In this regard we have rendered specific forms of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in courts outside the country as well as asset-recovery.
• The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol against Corruption, which is the first sub-regional anti-corruption treaty in Africa, and which has assisted in promoting, amongst others, the harmonizing of anti-corruption national legislation in the region; and
• The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions, which has established legally binding standards to criminalise bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and provides for related measures that make this effective.
“South Africa has a strong anti-corruption architecture. With cooperation between government, the private sector, nongovernmental organisations and political parties, we will be able to make a difference in eradicating corruption which is what our people expect of us’’, said President Zuma.
Enquiries: Mac Maharaj 079 879 3203 or email@example.com
Issued by: The Presidency