Sisulu determined to root out graft

Tebogo Monama and Sapa

Tebogo Monama and Sapa

National Housing Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, pictured, has welcomed a court's decision to impose hefty fines on 29 KwaZulu-Natal civil servants found guilty of housing fraud.

On Wednesday, 11 government employees, some of them teachers and nurses , pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg regional court to acquiring houses fraudulently.

Yesterday, 18 others were convicted of fraud in the same court. More cases are due to be heard in courts throughout the country.

The accused received suspended sentences and were fined between R3000 and R10000. They falsely claimed in affidavits that they were unemployed when they applied for the houses.

Sisulu said: "We welcome the decision. We are committed to rooting out corruption, especially in the public sector, and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that all unscrupulous fraudsters are brought to book."

They all signed an admission of debt and have to pay back the money for the houses with interest. They will keep the houses as long as they adhere to the admission of debt conditions or else suspended sentences will come into effect

Department spokesman Xolani Xundu said: "Some started repayments in December 2007, which are calculated over a period to equal the subsidy amount at the time of application."