Thursday, March 17, 2011

Govt rejects "dysfunctional state" claims

The government has rejected "insinuations" by a constitutional watchdog group that South Africa is becoming a "dysfunctional state".

17 March 2011 | Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - The government has rejected "insinuations" by a constitutional watchdog group that South Africa is becoming a "dysfunctional state".

"Government believes that Casac's (Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution) intentions are not that of trying to build a democracy we all live by," the performance monitoring and evaluation ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"Casac we believe understands and appreciates our constitutional democracy and know very well that they should report any allegations of corruption to the relevant institutions for investigation.

"Unfortunately, some of the emotive language and remarks of the chairperson of Casac does little to further the debate on how we can tackle corruption more effectively."

Casac chairman Sipho Pityana said this week South Africa was on the "verge" of joining the ranks of dysfunctional states. He said a conservative assault on the Constitution from some of the most powerful in South African society was threatening to "fatally undermine" the capacity to overcome poverty and inequality.

The ministry however said the government had "reinvigorated" its efforts to deal more effectively with corruption over the past two years.

Measures being implemented included increasing monitoring capabilities to detect fraud at an early stage, transparent public disclosure of tender processes, centralisation of some procurement processes to enable better control, heavy penalties of up to double the contract value for suppliers involved in tender fraud, and recovering losses from corruption from officials.

The president had also set up the inter-ministerial committee on corruption to ensure proper co-ordination of anti-corruption efforts. The finance minister had set up a multi-agency working group on procurement to tighten up procurement systems and eliminate abuse.

So far this year, 14 people with assets of more than R5 million had been arrested for corruption, while more than R260 million in assets was frozen.

The public service and administration department set up a special anti-corruption unit in November 2010 to ensure effective disciplinary action was taken in important cases.

"These initiatives have gone a long way in overcoming some of the fragmentation in our efforts to combat corruption, but we believe that more can be done to ensure better co-operation.

"We still need to do more to educate public servants and our citizens about the evils of corruption, and to mobilise them against it."

Cosatu said it fully supported Casac's call for a campaign to "red-card" corruption.

"The federation agrees with the Casac that while there is "a plethora of anti-corruption institutions and initiatives in SA, they were either not sufficiently independent of the executive or did not have the combating of corruption as their primary mandate," Cosatu said.

"The new agency must enjoy independence similar to that of our judiciary."

Cosatu said it hoped the proposed agency would encourage whistle-blowers to report corruption and crime with "full confidence".

The Citizen

Comments by Sonny

Yes, even Gaddafi was to obnoxious to go out and feel the winds blowing through his


Now he is awakening from the storm!

Whistle blowers know their fate in SA!

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