May 30, 2017
I have always been a great fan of sport, and I strongly believe there is so much to learn from the teamwork, the discipline and pure enjoyment that sport has to offer.
I was saddened to see recently that Lonwaba Tsotsobe (former Protea cricket player) is another player that has been implicated in match fixing. At the heart of it this is pure corruption, and it immediately makes me think of the examples set by our very own South African President.
Enough has been spoken about this topic in current times, but recently the ex-Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba, revealed that over the last 13 years 3600 civil servants have been found guilty of misconduct, all related to corrupt activities. Of the 3600 officials, approximately 1700 were dismissed from public service, while 447 officials were fined, and some of them did not receive a salary for three months. 137 officials were reportedly demoted, and 921 officials were given final written warnings. A total of 395 officials were prosecuted.
The Minister also announced that according to the revised Code of Conduct for Public Service Employees, it was now impossible for public servants to do business with the State. What will be interesting to see is how this will be managed in the future. We know that very few vendor verification processes are followed, just as we have seen in recent cases, such as the PRASA incident.
I also wonder how many of the 98% of public servants who have formally declared their financial interests have had a lifestyle audit conducted on them. Most ethical organisations would insist on a full non-financial due diligence and lifestyle audit be conducted on people in such vulnerable positions. However, this does not appear to be the norm in Government, particularly if we listen to what the Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor, has to say. Pandor recently raised concerns over how some government officials sustain their lifestyles, and the Minster encouraged lifestyle audits to be conducted on all public servants.
We have to hope for the best, and hope that public servants really do have all of our interests at heart, even though this is not the picture that we have come to believe.