Kwazulu-Natal Premier S'bu Ndebele was two hours late yesterday for his opening address to the province's two-day anti-corruption summit.
Ndebele had been due to deliver his opening address at 8.30am but only entered the plenary hall only two hours later.
Some delegates had walked out and others roamed about. No explanation was given for the delay.
But Ndebele wasted no time telling delegates that the province was carrying a caseload of fraud and corruption charges amounting to almost R40million.
"Currently 25 cases of theft, fraud, corruption and mismanagement are being investigated by the SAPS and the internal audit in the provincial treasury department," he said.
"The cases total nearly R40million. Nineteen cases are currently in court in which government officials and outsiders are being prosecuted."
Ndebele said corruption was the plague that manifested itself in many ways, but its intended consequence was to deny service delivery.
He said corruption was a global phenomenon that worried the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
"The economic and social transformation programmes put forward by governments in Russia, the United States or even Japan have been thwarted by corrupt practices from individuals, government officials and members of the public," he said.
He said in 2006 South Africa was the second least corrupt country on the continent of Africa according to global watchdog, Transparency International.
Ndebele said the province wanted to fight corruption and had an anti-corruption strategy in place.
The plans included a code of conduct, policies and procedures, a disciplinary code and procedures, an anti-fraud policy and response plan, and the whistle-blowing policy.