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Patricia De Lille says Special Investigating Unit currently recovering R1.3 billion

Minister for Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Minister for Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 6, 2022

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Pretoria - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is currently recovering at least R1.3 billion through the civil courts and its tribunal courtesy of corruption and fraud in the infrastructure and construction sector.

This was confirmed by Minister for Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille and head of the SIU advocate Andy Mothibi who also reminded the country about the Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum that was launched last year to aid the battle against corruption in the sector.

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The forum was established to prevent and combat fraud and corruption in the infrastructure and construction sector and today scores of cases have already been brought to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the police and some are still being investigated by the SIU.

De Lille said the SIU has been assisting the department with cases within its department, in terms of presidential proclamations. These include capital projects delivered by the department, supply chain management irregularities with regard to property leased in from the private sector, and renovations to prestige facilities.

She said: "Out of 6 978 cases investigated by the SIU, under presidential proclamations, 6 623 have been finalised and 355 are still pending. Out of 91 disciplinary referrals to the department, 86 cases have been finalised and five are pending.

"The sanctions for finalised cases ranged from dismissals, found not guilty, resigned before the hearings, death or retired before finalisation of cases, final warnings and suspension without pay.

"Out of 292 criminal referrals to the law enforcement agencies 18 cases have been finalised, 240 matters are before the NPA for decision, 23 cases were referred to SARS for further investigation, six matters are still with the police for investigation and five matters are before the court of law."

She said the SIU is currently recovering R1.3bn through the civil court and its tribunals are currently ongoing. She encouraged members of the public to report any alleged corruption or fraud on projects within the Infrastructure Investment Plan to the SIU.

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Emanating from the investigations, the SIU recommended to the department to institute disciplinary action against departmental officials where there is prima facie evidence justifying such action.

Where there is prima facie evidence of criminal transgressions by officials and/or other persons, for example contractors or service providers, the SIU refers the criminal case to the NPA for further criminal investigation..

De Lille said: “Corruption is another pandemic in our country and every effort must be made to fight corruption with all stakeholders, government, the private sector, civil society and communities working together to stem this scourge. Corruption steals from the poor and stifles service delivery and progress.”

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“Government must ensure that all in society play their part in defeating the scourge of corruption. Prevention and combating corruption requires education, behavioural change and a multi-pronged approach from all levels of society. Corruption is a societal problem and fighting corruption is everyone’s business.

"Corruption hinders social and economic development and increases poverty by diverting domestic and foreign investment away from where it is most needed. We must also do a lot more to put systems in place to prevent and detect corruption before it occurs."

Pretoria News

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