Cape Town - The government is to name and shame those in its ranks found guilty of corruption, by publishing their names in all forms of media.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe made this announcement on Sunday during a briefing by the justice, crime prevention, safety and security (JCPS) cluster on the government’s plans to fight crime.
Radebe was accompanied by other members of the cluster, including Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu, police commissioner General Riah Phiyega and State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.
Radebe said the name-and-shame initiative would be “so the public will know these rotten apples of South African society”.
He said convictions for corruption were already in the public domain.
“The records of our courts indicate that, so there is no problem whatsoever (in publishing the names).
“We want to ensure that the public is conscious about what has happened because sometimes when people talk about corruption, and if we say 32 people have been convicted, it’s just a number, but if you can attach a number to an actual person, you will realise that this fight against corruption, we do it in a meaningful way,” said Radebe.
He said publication of the names would be in all media, “whether it is electronic, newspapers, radio, SAfm, television, community radio stations and pamphlets, so that people have this information”.
Radebe said the finer details of the plan would be finalised by officials who would work out the best means of disseminating the information.
He said the fight against crime required that the cluster dealt effectively with corrupt officials “whose actions undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system and the work of the JCPS cluster as a whole”.
Since 2010, 237 people had been arrested for corruption, 32 have been convicted and two of them have been acquitted.
The other 203 accused were still before court.
“The cluster is committed to fighting corruption at all levels and areas of our society. Since the establishment of the anti-corruption task team in 2010, good progress has been made in recovering the proceeds of corruption. Criminal assets of 59 persons to the value of R816 million have already been frozen,” said Radebe.
Nearly R78m had been forfeited and returned to the state.
The task team, working with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, had recovered three farms to the value of R59m which had been lost through corruption. Another five farms to the value of R74m had been frozen and “should be recovered soon”.
Radebe said the adoption of the National Development Plan by the government as the “vision for the country encourages us to intensify our efforts in pursuit of public safety”.
He said the cluster was mindful that for South Africa to secure socio-economic rights, its criminal justice system “will have to operate efficiently and sustain confidence amongst investors and entrepreneurs”.