2 February 2018

South Africa: Government Speaks Out Against Disgraced Officials

Government says it is concerned about the alarming rate at which public officials are being found to be in conflict with the law.

From the 1st of November 2017 to date, about 92 officials from different government entities across all the provinces have been arrested by the Hawks for various offences, which range from corruption, armed robbery and theft.

A breakdown of the perpetrators comprises, among others, 28 police officers, 45 traffic officers, six Home Affairs and other government officials, including officials at municipalities.

A staggering 34 traffic officers -- out of 45 -- are from Limpopo.

Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, said those who are entrusted with running government affairs are supposed to do so with honour and integrity while being beyond reproach to ensure public confidence.

She said government cannot allow corruption to eat at the very foundation of this country and turn a blind eye to it.

"The integrity and reputation within our government system must never be undermined and must remain a competitive edge and a source of pride for our citizenry.

"The war on corruption cannot be left to government alone. The task of civil society and our press is vital in highlighting corruption, reshaping attitudes and reversing public apathy toward corruption," Matakata said.

The Hawks' mandate is to return the trust of citizens in government institutions and to provide accountability.

"Our justice system is based on the rule of law, which is, in fact, enshrined in our Constitution. It means that the law applies to everyone. No one is above the law and the law must be applied the same, regardless of status or any other consideration," Matakata said.

She thanked those who report corruption and urged more people to come forward and report criminal activities.

"We want to warn those who think they can beat the system and continue to be tempted to transgress: we will make sure they are caught and severely dealt with through our competent justice system," Matakata said.

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