Corrupt offices fingered

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Hadebe yesterday said he has identified 13 offices plagued by corruption which was adversely affecting the poor.

"Our offices at Ezingolweni and Ngwelezane are number one."

Hadebe was speaking at a community event on service delivery at Esikhawini in the North Coast.

He warned that corrupt officials in his department will be sent to jail.

Hadebe said his department is facing huge backlogs in grant payouts because some officials also serve as local councillors.

He said those officials abusing the poor by demanding bribes "will face the full force of the law".

"I do not care whether they belong to the ANC or IFP. We need political intervention simply because we will be fingered when we deal with them," said Hadebe.

"Some people are not getting their pensions because they cannot afford to pay bribes. There are people who have established a corrupt relationship with our officials. I will send them to jail.

"I have taken a resolution that there will be no officials in the department who will also serve as councillors.

"When I say these things, there are officials who question what is the difference between my department and that of education.

"They say since teachers are allowed to become councillors, they too should be allowed," he said.

Hadebe also expressed concern over the increased exploitation faced by the poor and elderly when they apply for pensions at his department's offices.