UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION REQUIRES MORE POLITICAL WILL

STATEMENT ISSUED BY UDM PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS

The UDM welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Public Service and Administration that senior government officials may soon have to declare their assets and conflicts of interest. The suggestions by the new head of the Special Investigation Unit also makes reference to the need for laws that address sudden and inexplicable increases in wealth or assets. The UDM called for such steps 2 years ago, it is a shame that these are only considered when the country has suffered untold damage due to the arms deal scandal. It is difficult not to wonder whether these announcements have their origin in political expediency rather than true commitment.

It must also be remembered that there are already a number of rules and regulations dealing with matters such as gifts and conflicts of interest. It is not for a lack of rules, but a lack of implementation, that government is under suspicion in the arms deal. High-ranking politicians and officials have been implicated in alleged corrupt practices, these include the Chief of the Defence Force, Gen. Nyanda, the Chief of Acquisitions,
Mr Shaik, the Chief Whip of the ANC, Mr Yengeni, and former Minister of Defence,
Mr Modise. The list stretches on and on, and every week new names are added.

The test for government is not in its ability to announce new rules, but in showing the political will to enforce the rules that already exist. Otherwise, the new rules will be worth less than the paper they are printed on. The requisite political will to fight corruption should be demonstrated by investigating and prosecuting the politicians and officials who have already been named.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Caucus Liaison Officer
082 - 557 4184

Pretoria
31 July 2001