Government has fired 1 700 civil servants for corruption

Cape Town - In the 12 years since the inception of government's anti-corruption hotline, a total of 3 570 civil servants have been charged with graft, the governance and administration cluster said on Thursday.

The proceedings saw the dismissal of 1 694 officials. A further 438 were fined in the form of having their salary withheld for three months, 133 were demoted and 913 were served with written warnings.

A total of 392 were criminally charged. By the end of August, information received from whistleblowers since the inception of the hotline in 2004 had led to 18 076 cases referred to departments.

Of that number 16 547 have been completed. Deputy Co-operative Governance Minister Andries Nel told a media briefing in Cape Town that the government was stepping up its efforts to prevent civil servants from doing business with the state, and this included plans to ban those who are charged for this reason from returning to government employment for a period of up to ten years.

Nel said their names would be stored on a central data base shared by national, provincial and local government and all job applicants would be screened to ensure they had not been blacklisted in this manner.

He stressed that it would apply the moment someone is charged with doing business with the state, and not just to those found guilty of it.

“Often they resign before they can be found guilty to evade the system,” he explained.

All public servants have been given until the end of the year to resign from their jobs or relinquish their business activities.

“A circular has already been issued for public servants to disclose their business activities, involving any organ/s of sate and that such employees should, by January 2017, make a decision either to resign from the public service or relinquish their business activities.”

The corruption cases investigated following tip-offs to the hotline, has resulted in the recovery of R340 million in state funding, according to the department.