Top state of­fi­cials’ doc­u­ments in­ad­e­quate, MPs told

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA the re-

THE DIREC­TORATE for Pri­or­ity Crime In­ves­ti­ga­tion (DPCI) has ac­cused heads of de­part­ments, mu­nic­i­pal man­agers and chief ex­ec­u­tives at state en­ti­ties of fail­ing to re­port cor­rup­tion and pro­vid­ing sup­port­ing doc­u­ments for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

This emerged yes­ter­day when the DPCI briefed the stand­ing com­mit­tee on pub­lic ac­counts (Scopa) on the cor­rup­tion cases they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

In a re­port to the com­mit­tee, the DPCI’s head of com­mer­cial crime, Ma­jor-Gen­eral Al­fred Khana, said the man­agers in­struct pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions to con­duct au­dits and don’t want to be com­plainants when crim­i­nal cases were iden­ti­fied.

“Most of the au­dits done do not pro­vide suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence for crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions, but re­late mostly to de­part­men­tal mis­con­duct, which have to be dealt in­ter­nally,” Khana said.

He also told MPs about the ab­sence of orig­i­nal doc­u­ments as ex­hibits to cor­rob­o­rate ev­i­dence and prove al­le­ga­tions.

Ear­lier, Khana told the com­mit­tee that there were 30 cor­rup­tion cases in­volv­ing na­tional de­part­ments, with three cases in court, 26 un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and one wait­ing for a de­ci­sion of the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA).

There were a to­tal of 368 cor­rup­tion cases re­ported in the var­i­ous prov­inces, with 121 al­ready in court, 155 were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and 92 await­ing a de­ci­sion of the NPA, he said.

A to­tal of 315 cor­rup­tion cases were re­ported in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, with 368 in court, 368 un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and 78 with the NPA.

A fur­ther 78 cases in­volved state-owned en­ti­ties, with 14 in court, 50 be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and 14 await­ing a de­ci­sion from the NPA.

The par­lia­men­tar­i­ans were un­happy with the list of cases. Some raised ques­tions about de­lays in con­clud­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions and mat­ters still to be de­cided by the NPA.

“I would have liked much more-de­tailed doc­u­ments telling us what is go­ing on with spe­cific mat­ters. You are not telling us what is hap­pen­ing,” the DA’s Tim Braute­seth said.

“Thank you for the long list, but it ab­so­lutely tells us noth­ing,” he added.

Khana agreed that port lacked de­tail.

“Our fol­low-up re­port will def­i­nitely in­clude that in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

Asked how bud­get cuts af­fected their op­er­a­tions, the act­ing head of the DPCI, Ma­jor-Gen­eral Yolisa Matakata, al­layed fears about lack of ca­pac­ity in the Hawks, say­ing their chal­lenge was investigators quit­ting the ser­vice to join the pri­vate sec­tor.

“We have lost a num­ber over the years,” Matakata said.

She painted a glow­ing pic­ture of co-op­er­a­tion with stake­hold­ers they worked with on the state cap­ture in­ves­ti­ga­tions. “There has been so much co-op­er­a­tion in the work we do with all the stake­hold­ers,” Matakata said.

Quizzed about the top civil ser­vants’ in­volve­ment in cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tions, Khana com­mented on the foren­sic re­ports they pro­vided to the DPCI.

“The re­ports are opin­ion­ated. They are with­out fac­tual ba­sis. There are no wit­ness state­ments.

“We have to start afresh the in­ves­ti­ga­tion if the re­port is in­ad­e­quate.” Khana said top of­fi­cials left it to ju­nior of­fi­cials to re­port cor­rup­tion cases, un­less they had an in­ter­est in cer­tain mat­ters.

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