eThekwini municipality is beefing up security following a number of violent interruptions to city executive committee meetings in the past year.

Durban - The eThekwini Municipility's head of the City Integrity and Investigation Unit (CIIU) says Durban's forensic investigators risked their lives to root out and prevent corruption in the city with a R40bn annual budget.

CIIU head Mbuso Ngcobo was speaking at the Durban Exhibition Centre during the Fraud Awareness Seminar, which is being hosted by the city. 

International Fraud Awareness Week is being observed this week around the world. 

Mbuso said investigators should never allow themselves to be corrupted as they would be virtually dead if they did. He urged investigators to go on about their jobs with boldness and without fear or favour. 

"Once you allow yourself to be compromised, you will never be able to do your job properly,” he said.

He spoke about the consequences of fraud and corruption which often had negative impact on service delivery. He said his CIIU unit had been successful in stamping out corruption, citing a number of cases where suspensions and dismissals had taken place within the municipality.

“As the CIIU, I must say I am proud of this unit, the team works themselves out, we investigate without fear or favour. Some successes of the unit, I am pleased to say the Auditor General reported that the CIIU saved the municipality over R32 million of possible irregular and wasteful expenditure during the 2017/18 financial year.

“That was a massive achievement, we are proud of that. Our investigations have resulted in suspensions and dismissal of a number of officials including senior executives in the municipality,” said Ngcobo.

The seminar was attended by various stakeholders including Association for Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS) and National Public Prosecutors (NPA).

CEO of ACFE, Jaco de Jager said corruption was often paid for by poor people.

Councillor Thabani Luthuli, who delivered a keynote address on behalf of mayor Zandile Gumede, said the mayor had zero tolerance for corruption.

“Fighting crime, fraud and corruption is one of the key priorities in order to gain and maintain the public confident on our institutions and systems. As politicians, we understand our space. People can make unfounded accusation to throw a mud at you just to rubbish your good name,”

“Our fight for corruption is clear it has no agenda for purging. It has no agenda for defending certain individuals," read her speech

Sunday Tribune