South Africa

Jozi Anti-corruption crackdown uncovers embezzled billions

City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensic and Investigations Department has uncovered corruption amounting to more than R16, 2 billion since its inception, and has implemented measures to clamp down on fraud and corruption.

This was revealed by Executive Mayor‚ Cllr Herman Mashaba at the International Fraud Awareness Week Seminar hosted in partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) at the Metro Centre in Braamfontein on Thursday, 16 November 2017.

Executive Mayor of the City Of Johannesburg – Clr Herman Mashaba

The seminar coincided with the International Fraud Awareness Week which is observed globally from 12 to 18 November.

Speaking at the opening of the seminar‚ Mayor Mashaba said corruption had been rampant in the City, but expressed confidence that his administration has brought the situation under control and is bringing perpetrators to book.

“There are 2469 cases under investigation. We have taken aggressive actions against those implicated. Over 600 people have been arrested and more than 100 employees of the City have been suspended, 13 employees have resigned and seven dismissed,” said Mayor Mashaba.

“I’m lobbying the national government to allow municipalities like the City of Johannesburg to establish their own municipal courts and prisons. We need to deal with issues like illegal churches within the City that are contravening the City’ by-laws,” emphasized Mayor Mashaba.

The City’s Group Forensic and Investigations is working closely with relevant law enforcement agencies such as SAPS, National Prosecuting Authority, Intelligence structures, Asset Forfeiture Unit, Home Affairs and other key stakeholders like Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

“The ethical and moral actions of our officials at all levels, play a critical role in the fight against fraud and corruption in the City. Fraud and corruption undermine service delivery in the City. In principle, corruption eroded the confidence and trust that the society had in our officials and governments as whole,” said Mayor Mashaba.

The ACFE South Africa CEO, Jaco de Jager agreed that government and businesses are vulnerable‚ but also challenged government – saying it should come up with measures that prevent and deter fraud and corruption.

“Government should not stop at creating awareness and municipalities should have a hotline to report incidents of fraud and corruption‚” he said.

Lizzie Ramogale, Director at the City’s Group Forensic and Investigations Unit said, “It is encouraging that the City has a clear stance on anti-corruption. It’s also encouraging that people are reporting fraud and corruption. We are dealing with many investigations.”

Speakers during the seminar spoke about fraud and corruption that include the threat of cyber-attacks in South Africa, identity theft in cyberspace, fraud risks related to land redistributions, the stance of local government relating to fraud and corruption and using science to detect fraud and corruption.

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