Corruption, malpractice and maladministration in the state is costing the country dearly, according to the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) annual report.
The SIU on Wednesday celebrated a clean, unqualified audit report for the 2016/2017 financial year, by the Auditor-General.
The report highlighted, among others, that it also saved the state losses amounting to R4 billion in the execution of its crime busting mandate.
Over the same period, matters worth R3.8 billion came up for institution or opposition of civil proceedings.
“These significant achievements prove the SIU’s commitment to fighting corruption, malpractice and maladministration,” spokesperson Nazreen Pandor said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pandor said that of the six reports that the unit submitted to the office of the president, it had been able to retrieve R43.5 million for the state, and identified a further R126 million that the state stands to recover.
“In strengthening the fight against corruption, the unit referred 108 matters to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Asset Forfeiture Unit for forfeiture orders and 137 matters were referred for disciplinary, executive and/or administrative action,” she said.
Efforts to forge close cooperation between the SIU and the NPA were also underway.
To ensure that the process of referring, signing and publishing proclamations is better synchronised, the SIU also entered into a memorandum of understanding with the department of justice and the presidency.
The head of the unit, Andy Mothibi, gave credit to his staff and acknowledged the role played by the ministry and the department of justice, the presidency and other key stakeholders including active participants of the citizenry and the public.
Mothibi would, in the coming year, lead a drive to transform the SIU.
“Of utmost priority is to put to effect the process of reviewing the SIU’s organisational structure to ensure proper alignment of the skills required to make an impact to eradicate corruption, malpractice and maladministration,” said Pandor.
The SIU also acknowledged that much can still be achieved, hence the reorganisation process that is underway to improve its operating model, processes, systems and people practices.
The unit also aimed to become “the state’s preferred service provider in forensic investigations”, which had prompted an ongoing amendment of its founding law.
“Aligned to the amendment is the revision of the funding model, as well as the re-establishment of the special tribunal, ensuring speedier access to justice,” Pandor said.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha said the SIU’s “efforts of combating corruption are acknowledged as it strives to transform the country into a corruption free society”.