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139 officials found guilty of corruption after disciplinary action – Sisulu

The Auditor-General found that over R6 billion was lost due to irregular expenditure by officials in various departments.

FILE: Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Wednesday said they had found 139 cases of corrupt activity in her department.

The Auditor-General found that over R6 billion was lost due to irregular expenditure by officials in various departments.

Sisulu said that those found guilty were dealt with. She said that her team was fighting back against corruption in her department.

The minister said that 139 officials were found guilty after disciplinary hearings.

“To get the department where we wanted to, we had to clear this backlog, clear those who were not guilty so that they can come back and work, and those who were guilty so that we can give the necessary sanction,” she said.

Director-General Squire Mahlangu said that action against these people showed they were turning around the department.

“The people who were involved in the implementation of that irregular expenditure have been charged, some have been dismissed, others were given three months suspension without pay, and others have resigned,” Mahlangu said.

Sisulu said there was a stabilising committee in place to ensure the right people were hired.

MOTAU APPOINTED TO REVIEW CASES

Meanwhile, Sisulu said that she had appointed Advocate Terry Motau to lead a team of lawyers who would review all corruption, irregular expenditure, and fraud allegations in her department.

The minister said that corruption had cost the department billions of rand and a lack of consequences meant the culprits were still at work earning a salary.

Sisulu said she wanted those implicated in jail or fired. She said that it was because of Motau’s investigation into the VBS Bank scandal that she believed he was the right man for the job.

The minister said that allegations facing water boards and senior officials in the department would be fully investigated.

“We now hand over to him to oversee the administration of what happens to these cases, how they're processed, and the outcomes of those cases. It releases the director-general and myself to deal with the core functions of the department,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu said she wanted harsh punishment for offenders.

“To give also assurance to society and Parliament that we are serious about dealing with corruption,” she said.

The minister has not divulged how long Motau and his team had for their investigation.