Police top list of most corrupt public officials

Members of the police in uniform, Sandton. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA

Members of the police in uniform, Sandton. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA

Published Sep 25, 2020


Cape Town - Police are the most corrupt public officials in country, according to a report that analysed corruption trends.

According to the Analysis of Corruption Trends compiled by Corruption Watch, bribery allegations against police account for 31% of all corruption claims against public servants.

The report claimed that officers solicited bribes from suspects and victims of crimes alike, and sometimes from small businesses and members of the public.

Corruption Watch researcher Melusi Ncala said the growing concern about corruption levels in the country, also showed the strong will of the public to expose the corrupt and seek consequences even during the pandemic.

Ncala said Corruption Watch has seen almost 2000 people taking steps to blow the whistle on corruption during the first half of the year - compared with the same period last year, an increase of more than 400 reports were received.

“It was not surprising, given the exposure of rampant corruption in Covid-19 procurement. That has enraged ordinary people trying to survive the global pandemic.”

He said during the period, almost 55% of reports came in after the declaration in mid-March of the national State of Disaster. Of those reports, he said 13% alleged corruption in the police, while municipal offices, schools, and traffic and licensing centres each accounted for 5% of the reports, and the health sector was 4%.

Ncala said together those constituted about a third of the overall number of reports received over the period. For the second consecutive year, corruption in the policing sector has topped the list.

He said in terms of corruption trends, maladministration, specifically the deliberate delaying of or disregard for legal and official government processes, accounted for 19% of all reports.

“This is followed by misappropriation of resources at 14% - this includes theft, misuse, abuse of, and wasteful spending on state vehicles, equipment, time and funds,” he said.

He said procurement irregularities, also accounted for 14% of reports. Bribery and extortion and employment irregularities each made up 13% of the total reports received.

Ncala said reports from the public revealed disturbing allegations of brutality, most evident during the early stages of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Perhaps predictably, bribery features in 31% of reports of police corruption, highlighting how police officers solicit bribes from suspects and victims alike, as well as ordinary residents.”

The report comes four days after a senior administrative clerk in Cape Town, Thembisile Arosi, 49, appeared in the Blue Down’s Magistrates Court on two charges of fraud and corruption. He was arrested by the Hawks at his workplace in Stikland on Friday.

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said Arosi was accused of issuing illegal police clearance certificates for vehicles without being present at the vehicle testing station.

“Arosi was released on R2000 bail and is expected back in court on November 4,” Hani said.

Cape Argus

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