Anti-corruption hotline a futile exercise

Almost 300 cases of corruption have been reported to the national anti-corruption hotline since its inception in September 2004, but less than 40 officials had been suspended or fired .

Almost 300 cases of corruption have been reported to the national anti-corruption hotline since its inception in September 2004, but less than 40 officials had been suspended or fired .

These figures were presented by the anti-corruption forum yesterday at a meeting between business, civil society and government sectors at the South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria chaired by Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

However, of the cases reported, the forum had only received feedback on 830 cases, said spokesman Clayson Monyela.

"The cases reported led to the dismissal of 20 officials from the public service, while 17 were suspended pending finalisation of their cases."

The Department of Social Development and the South African Revenue Services (Sars) have their own hotlines. The social development hotline had received more than 40168 cases since March 2004. The Sars hotline recorded more than 40715 cases relating to personal income tax, import-related cases and company tax cases.

These, and the recent announcement by Transparency International's Bribe Payers' Index 2006 - which ranked South Africa 24th out of 30 countries likely to bribe foreign officials - prompted the forum to intensify its actions. Yesterday's meeting was attended by members of the South African National Editors' Forum. - Sapa

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