Dis­hon­est of­fi­cials No. 1 on Cor­rup­tion Watch list

The Witness - Wheels - - NEWS - JONATHAN ERAS­MUS • jonathan. eras­mus@ wit­ness. co. za

THE abuse of power by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials is deemed the num­ber one rea­son for cor­rup­tion in KZN, Cor­rup­tion Watch re­ported.

Cor­rup­tion Watch, a non- gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, has said the num­ber of in­ci­dents of cor­rup­tion be­ing re­ported to them is in­dica­tive of the scale of this crime in South Africa.

While ad­mit­ting that not all in­ci­dents have yet been “ver­i­fied”, David Lewis, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor at Cor­rup­tion Watch, said their data is good at point­ing out where the pop­u­la­tion be­lieve theft of public re­sources may be tak­ing place.

“This is a dis­ease that is in ev­ery cor­ner of this coun­try. The amount of re­ported in­ci­dents have in­creased con­sis­tently over the years. While we can at­tribute this to the strength­en­ing of our brand and while we can­not say just how much cor­rup­tion is tak­ing place, this al­lows us to pro­vide this in­for­ma­tion to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties,” said Lewis.

He said the lack of po­lit­i­cal will and the tar­nished im­age of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma per­pet­u­ated the con­tinua- tion of cor­rup­tion by of­fi­cials.

“The sit­u­a­tion is re­ally dire. While we have an im­pres­sive ar­ray of laws and in­sti­tu­tions ded­i­cated to com­bat­ting cor­rup­tion, the re­al­ity is that many of our lead­ers act with ab­so­lute im­punity. This brings the laws into contempt and erodes public trust in the in­sti­tu­tions.”

Lewis said the in­crease in re­port­ing on school cor­rup­tion was pos­si­bly be­cause “peo­ple felt their chil­dren were be­ing prej­u­diced”.

In a press re­lease, they re­ported a steady in­crease in the num­ber of re­ports re­ceived, up 17% against the pre­vi­ous year.

“The 2014 data in­di­cates that an av­er­age of seven re­ports a day were re­ceived, to­talling 2 714 re­ports in 2014. Of th­ese, 56% were clas­si­fied as cor­rup­tion within Cor­rup­tion Watch’s man­date”, said the state­ment. The Gaut­eng prov­ince trumped all the prov­inces with 44% of all re­ports, fol­lowed by KZN ( 16%) and then the Free State.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has re­ceived 8 181 re­ports on al­leged cor­rup­tion since 2012.

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