Premier acts on corruption, fraud

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Zweli Mkhize has revealed that 1,129 public servants are currently subject to disciplinary action on a variety of charges in the province

And for the financial year April 2010 to March 2011, 787 public servants had signed acknowledgements of debt to the value of R3,010,290 with the special investigating unit. Mkhize revealed this when he updated his cabinet on the great strides in the fight against fraud and corruption in the provincial government.

"As the government moves decisively towards clean governance, more than 1,000 employees are currently facing disciplinary action on a variety of charges, and more than R3 million is being recovered from public servants who received social grants illegally," Mkhize said.

In his state of the province address in February, Mkhize explained in detail a range of initiatives to rid the government of the scourge of criminality.

Among these was the appointment of retired Judge President Vuka Tshabalala to preside over some of the disciplinary cases involving senior civil servants.

Yesterday Mkhize painted a gloomy picture of the extent of corruption, saying that the 1129 civil servants were being investigated on: fraud-theft (198); social grant misconduct (360); misuse of state property (101); insubordination (74); absenteeism (112); sexual harassment (28); working under the influence of alcohol-drugs (25); and assault (33).

A further 198 civil servants were facing misconduct charges relating to a variety of issues such as misrepresentation, negligence and abusive language. He said there had also been seven criminal prosecutions while 72 civil servants had been suspended.

"When we assumed office, we made a very clear commitment to clean governance. We said we would ensure that every cent from the public purse went towards the delivery of services to our people.

"In the state of the province address, we announced additional measures to help speed up the conclusion of some of the disciplinary cases. We are extremely pleased that this is bearing tangible outcomes as we recover stolen money and remove rotten elements from our public service."