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Johannesburg - About 27 000 SAPS members are alle-gedly active directors of private companies, while 70 police employees have a direct interest in 73 companies which did business worth R31 million with the SAPS, says the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
None of the 70 SAPS employees had disclosed their business interests, but investigations continue into whether the 27 000 police employees moonlighting as company directors made their financial disclosures, according to the SIU interim report covering April to September last year.
The probe started in May 2009 after the police watchdog, the then Independent Complaints Directorate, now the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), raised the alarm over improper or unlawful conduct and conflicts of interest in SAPS officers’ business dealings.
Concerns included unlawful and/or irregular conduct in 33 specific SAPS building and renovation projects.
The SIU report has highlighted another 22 SAPS employees having a direct interest in 48 entities, which, unlike the 73 companies, are not registered with the SAPS suppliers’ database.
The report said 99 entities were identified as “being allegedly directly linked to SAPS employees”, having done business worth R21m with the police. No investigation had been initiated.
Parliamentary police committee chairman, ANC MP Annelize van Wyk, said further engagement with the SAPS must follow, including on what the police intended to do to redress the conflicts of interest. “The report provides us with very, very little information to do proper oversight.”
These findings come just two weeks after it emerged that 1 448 officers have criminal records, of which 1 132 were gained while in police service. The police’s audit of its employees dates only to 2010.
Following verbal and written requests for comment, a copy of the SIU findings was e-mailed to the SAPS, which later responded: “We note that you are relying on the interim report of September 2012. We have not received the interim nor the final report.”
Further dodgy dealings emerged in the SIU interim report over the construction of four police stations, a R900m tender for a communications system in the Eastern Cape and the 2010 and 2011 national police days, whose total R109m cost was not budgeted for.
The police spent R151m on four police stations, although the SIU found it did not have the authority to build its own under the devolution of powers, which rests this responsibility with public works. Thus the expenditure was irregular and unauthorised, it added.
This appears to stand in stark contrast to what the police in 2010 told the parliamentary committee, assuring MPs it had obtained special permission from public works to build its own police station.
The SIU probe into the SAPS is investigating other procurement contraventions, including possible fraudulent tax clearance submissions, manual price alterations on tender documents and contract management irregularities.
The SIU this week said its efforts meant R181m was paid back in cash to departments and municipalities.
Social development gained the lion’s share when R135.6m was recovered from 43 404 public servants who irregularly received grants.
Another R41.4m was recovered from 5 202 government officials who had irregularly obtained housing subsidies. About R4.4m was recovered from correctional services staff who signed acknowledgments of debt after being found defrauding the departmental medical aid.
The SIU probes at social development continues.
The correctional services probe has been completed and a final report handed to President Jacob Zuma.