The fight against corruption has new momentum

OUTA welcomes multiple arrests as well as jail sentence for former head of Crime Intelligence.

01/10/2020 09:00:47

The fight against corruption has new momentum


The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) welcomes the 48 arrests this week of several government officials, members of the SA Police Service as well as businesspeople implicated in corruption and tax abuse. “We are happy to see the rule of law being applied and those implicated in corruption, fraud and other transgressions now being held to account. These are the actions we have been waiting patiently for a while now and it is proof that the wheels of justice are starting to turn. The momentum is certainly starting to build,” says Wayne Duvenage, CEO of OUTA.

He says the fact that Richard Mdluli, former head of Police Crime Intelligence, was sent to jail this week without leave to appeal his sentence, sends a strong signal that no one is above the law.  “Just a few years ago, it was clear that people like Mdluli enjoyed protection through deliberate interference within the criminal justice system, resulting from the Zuma administration's antics and efforts to drive a state capture agenda. Fortunately, the long arm of the law finally caught up with him.”

In another welcome development in the war on corruption, 42 people were arrested this week in connection with a R56 million police vehicle branding scam. They face charges of corruption, money laundering, fraud, perjury and theft. Of the 42 accused, 22 are serving police officers. “It is sad to see that those who are supposed to protect us from corruption, are instead involved in defrauding us.”

The organisation also welcomes the arrests of three businesspeople and three senior Free State government officials implicated in a R225 million asbestos tender probe. “We believe the NPA has been hard at work building strong cases based on good evidence, and we are hopeful that these arrests will result in jail time for the offenders.”

OUTA also welcomes the court appearance of Vincent Smith, former ANC MP, in connection with bribes received from corruption-accused company Bosasa. “It seems the house of cards is starting to tumble for those who thought they were enjoying impunity, and we trust this is the beginning of many people in positions of power being held to account for their transgressions.”  

“We would also like to reiterate our call for action to be taken against those in the private sector involved in corruption and tender scandals. There are two sides of the corruption coin and those in the private sector who have played along should also be held accountable. Corruption is not a victimless crime, and it is unfortunately the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society that bear the brunt of corruption.”

Duvenage says the level of action taken this week against state officials and others implicated in wrongdoing, is music to his ears. “We are passionate about accountability and transparency in the fight against corruption, and it would appear that a massive shift in the dynamics at play is starting to unfold. There are a lot of wealthy people who once - and still - occupy positions of power, that will not be sleeping easy for the next days, weeks and months.”


Voice note available here