Consequence management not a DoD priority, PCDMV claims after Hawks investigations

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Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) believes investigations into financial malfeasance to the tune of R170 million in the Department of Defence (DoD) are an indicator of “low levels of consequence management”.

The comment is part of a Parliamentary Communication Services statement reacting to what Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), better known as the Hawks, told the PCDMV about four active cases of fraud and corruption in Minister Thandi Modise’s department.

Equipment and machinery to “repair” potholes, procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), maladministration at the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) headquarters in Pretoria and “skills development” at the DMV were named by the SA Police Service (SAPS) three-star in his presentation.

The Parliamentary Communication Services statement has it “representatives from the Inspector General [without specifying DoD or SA National Defence Force (SANDF)] told the committee following its investigations against members of the DoD, it often refers cases to the Hawks, SAPS and the specialised Commercial Crimes Unit, especially cases involving civilians”.

It continues, on behalf of co-chair Cyril Xaba, that the PCDMV was “disappointed” to see a difference in the number of cases named by the DoD and the DCPI. “The committee will follow up with the DoD” on the difference in case numbers.

Xaba, “noted the lack of capacity at the military police to conduct efficient investigations into all cases of fraud and corruption”. This “situation has led the Auditor-General to complain about inadequate consequence management”.

Welcoming what the statement called “co-operation” between DCPI and the DoD, Xaba called on the elite investigation unit to “fast track and finalise investigations as a means to boost consequence management”.

The Hawks said it prioritised cases received from the DoD, including those involving theft, fraud and corruption, manipulation of tender processes and kickbacks to officials. The DCPI top man told the PCDMV it does not have endless resources but has nevertheless tried to pursue all investigations, despite hurdles such as the accused changing legal representatives, which causes delays.