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SIU opens office in Northern Cape

Written by More Matshediso

Government has strengthened its efforts to fight corruption with the opening of the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) Northern Cape Provincial Office.Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola officially opens the SIU’s Northern Cape Provincial Office.

The Northern Cape was the only province in South Africa without a permanent SIU presence. Instead, it was serviced by the Free State, North West and Western Cape provincial offices.

The SIU is an independent body that conducts investigations at the President's request. It recovers and prevents financial losses to the State caused by acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration.

Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola said the opening of the new office is expected to improve the turnaround time of investigations and help ensure good legal outcomes and effective implementation of SIU recommendations.

He added that the rate of reporting to the SIU in the Northern Cape is low when compared to other provinces.

“This is understandable taking into consideration that the SIU did not have offices here. However, this should be a thing of the past, I appeal to members of the community to fully utilise these offices and report all allegations of corruption.”

Minister Lamola said the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) period has shown that corruption knows no boundaries, with public money meant to fight the pandemic being lost to corruption. 

He applauded the SIU for ensuring that those who looted public resources were brought to book.

The Minister gave an update on recent anti-corruption developments These include:

  • The establishment of the Special Tribunal has enhanced the SIU’s ability to recover funds stolen from the State. The biggest recovery to date – R1.5 billion – is against ABB South Africa.
  • Law enforcement agencies coordinating their work through the Fusion Centre have handled 231 cases or incidents related to COVID-19. Thirty cases were closed after investigations and 31 accused are appearing in 14 criminal cases across the country. Referrals were sent to various departments for disciplinary action of employees involved in irregularities.
  • R145.6 million in 72 bank accounts has been blocked by the Financial Intelligence Centre and R119 million has been preserved by the Asset Forfeiture Unit through the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
  • The SIU has enrolled cases in the Special Tribunal to the value of R365 million and has saved R124 million involving supply chain irregularities. The South African Revenue Services recovered R165 million in taxes.

To report fraud and corruption, contact the SIU at siu@whistleblowing.co.za or  0800 037 774.