SIU making inroads in rooting out corruption

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has received a clean, unqualified audit report for the 2016/17 financial year from the Auditor General.

The SIU - whose mandate is to recover and prevent financial losses to the State caused by acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration - has also exceeded eight out of its 10 targets and intervened in matters that could have resulted in losses to the State amounting to R4 billion.

“Working closely with State institutions, the SIU also referred matters worth R3.8 billion for the institution or defence/opposition of civil proceedings, including arbitration or counter civil proceedings. These significant achievements evidence the SIU’s commitment to fighting corruption, malpractice and maladministration,” SIU head Andy Mothibi said on Wednesday.

Over the financial year under review, the SIU submitted six reports to the office of the President, retrieved R43.5million for the State, and identified a further R126 million that the State stands to recover.

In strengthening the fight against corruption, Mothibi said the unit referred 108 matters to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) for forfeiture orders.

About 137 matters were referred for disciplinary, executive and administrative action.

Mothibi said he is proud of these achievements, which he attributed to dedicated staff.

“These great achievements would have not been possible without the SIU staff members -- who are the human capital – the ministry, and Department of Justice, Presidency and other key stakeholders."

SIU strengthens relationship with NPA

To ensure that the process of referring, signing and publishing proclamations is better synchronised, the unit entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the NPA, which will see intensified cooperation in relation to matters referred, as well as matters that need to be handed to the AFU.

The SIU also entered into a MOU with the Department of Justice and the Presidency.

In the coming financial year, various projects to transform the SIU will be undertaken.

“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,” Mothibi said.

Mothibi said much can still be achieved through the reorganisation process that is underway to improve the SIU’s operating model, processes, systems and people practices.

To ensure that the SIU becomes the State’s preferred service provider in forensic investigations, the executive is in the process of amending the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No. 74 of 1996). 

Aligned to the amendment, is the revision of the funding model, as well as the reestablishment of the Special Tribunal, further ensuring speedier access to justice.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Masutha has congratulated the unit and the dedicated staff, saying it is succeeding in the fight against corruption. He recognised the SIU’s efforts to combat corruption as it strives to transform the country into a corruption free society.

However, both the Minister and SIU acknowledged that getting rid of corruption will not happen without the active participation of the citizens, whose role is to report suspicions or corrupt activities in both the public and private sector. - 

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