Top state officials’ documents inadequate, MPs told
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.