2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
 ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION

STATEMENT ISSUED BY DR GERHARD KOORNHOF, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR FINANCE

The arrest for corruption of the Director of Finance of the Eastern Cape, one of the most senior officials in that province, must come as an embarrassing shock to Government.

When a senior Government official is arrested for theft and cheque fraud involving at least
R 400 000, serious questions must be asked. If this is the example that senior leaders in Government set, how can we expect their subordinates to act differently? We must face up to the fact that corruption is endemic and widespread throughout the public service. It seems that hardly a day goes by without a senior official being exposed for involvement in corruption. This is the fifth corruption case revealed in this week alone!

The Public Finance Management Act is a step in the right direction to ensure accountability at all levels of Government, but without proper implementation, and on its own, it will not solve the problem of corruption in the public service. At least two more elements are required.

Firstly, the UDM calls again on Government to ensure that enabling legislation is passed immediately to ensure that public accounts committees, at all levels of Government, are empowered to properly scrutinise the financial management of all departments.

Secondly, the Deputy President of the country admitted in response to a supplementary question asked in Parliament by the UDM that Government has no corruption measuring mechanism. We call on Government to immediately institute such a mechanism, not only to measure the scale and frequency of corruption but also to track the investigation, prosecution and successful punishment of corrupt officials. Government must make examples of corrupt officials.

Only through regular and thorough scrutiny will we eradicate corruption and establish an "esprit de corps", which the Batho Pele motto so beautifully captures, to ensure real and timely delivery of services.


Enquiries:
Dr Gerhard Koornhof, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Finance

Cape Town
11 June 2000