GEPF launches anti-corruption hotline

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pretoria - The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) has joined other organs of state in declaring a war on corruption, fraud and unethical behaviour within its ranks, by launching its own anti-corruption hotline.

The hotline number 0800 43 43 73, is to be operated by KMPG in order to maintain confidentiality.

GEPF Chief Executive Officer, Phineas Tjie, announced that they had established the hotline to provide employees and the public with a mechanism to bring any unethical business practices or unethical conduct by employees to the attention of management where appropriate or to the Board of Trustees.

"The recent release of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 'Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse 2008' has highlighted the global trend towards corruption being rated the number one modus operandi experienced by organisations, including the GEPF.

"We at GEPF are aligning ourselves with the recent call of a war on fraud and corruption by government. I appeal to all GEPF staff members, including members of the public to make use of the hotline and report any form of corruption," said Tjie.

Members of the public who report incidents of fraud and corruption will be guaranteed anonymity.

Tjie appealed to staff members to use the hotline and report suspicious behaviour from both staff members as well as from members of the community. However, he cautioned members not to abuse the hotline number by reporting issues that are not related to corruption.

The hotline will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is a toll free if called from a Telkom phone, including public phones within South Africa.

The police have made a number of arrests recently related to corruption in the GEPF.

Two suspects were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal after 25 life certificates to the value of R1.1 million rand were activated without authorisation and proceeds paid into a fraudulent bank account.

The Life certificate was introduced in 1995 to enable the GEPF to keep track of deaths among its pensioners. In some cases, deaths were not being reported in time by the next of kin and curators resulting in pension overpayments that were difficult to recover.

Senior Manager of Fraud and Forensic at GEPF, Effort Kgosiemang, said 35 cases of fraud valued at R4.6 million were reported and registered with the South African Police Services during April to September 2009.

Successful recoveries are continuously made from fraudulent and frozen bank accounts.

A total amount of R1.2 million was recommended and re-issued to the rightful beneficiaries based on the conclusion of internal investigation.

The GEPF is the largest pension fund administrator in Africa with more than 1.1 million active members and more than 300 000 pensioners, excluding members of other funds administered by the GEPF as an agent.

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