Spotlight on EC housing corruption claims

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pretoria - The Office of the Public Protector says it will look into allegations of corruption against the Eastern Cape's Human Settlements Department.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will look into allegations at the department, as well as two municipalities and a public hospital.

This follows claims made at a community outreach meeting in Bisho on Friday, where it was made known that R28 million had been "stolen" from municipal coffers. 

According to the Public Protector's Office, a member of the Provincial Legislature, John Korkie, said another R1.4 million from Kou-Kamma Municipality was "stolen and recovered" but no action had been taken against the culprit yet.

A community member said that a company, which had failed to deliver on a social housing project, continued to secure similar projects elsewhere in the province. The company had been awarded a R13 million tender to build 550 RDP houses but delivered only 120 houses, some of which were falling apart.

The Santa Hospital in Port Alfred was also accused of cashing-in on terminally ill patients by purchasing life insurance for them, with the sole aim of claiming benefits once the patients had succumbed to their illnesses.

"We cannot prejudge the cases. We will investigate each matter, working closely with the complainants," said Madonsela.

The consultative process was aimed at soliciting feedback on the work of the Public Protector and fostering a common understanding of the institution's mandate and role. - BuaNews

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