SA to bolster anti-corruption fight

South Africa will set up a new anti-corruption ministerial task team to take strong action against corruption in the public sector, a government spokesperson said.
Investor confidence in Africa’s strongest economy, in its first recession in two decades, has been hurt by allegations of high-level corruption costing the economy millions of dollars.
“South Africa takes very strong exception to corruption as this is a matter that has a negative impact on the country’s reputation,” cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko told reporters.
“We want to deal decisively with the perception that corruption is on the rise in the country and this committee will be set up to do all that is necessary to make sure that decisive action is taken against all those involved,” he said.
According to Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index, released earlier this week, South Africa ranked 55th out of 180 countries surveyed, and fared fifth in Africa behind Botswana, Mauritius, Cape Verde and Seychelles.
President Jacob Zuma, whose financial adviser was sentenced to prison for fraud, overcame years of corruption allegations this year when prosecutors dropped charges against him.
Former police Chief Jackie Selebi is currently standing trial on corruption charges.
Maseko said the new anti-corruption committee would present its report to cabinet next year.
He said government had noted numerous reports showing corruption across the public service and wanted to make sure concrete action was taken and perpetrators brought to book.
In the latest graft claims to surface, parliament’s correctional services committee heard evidence on Tuesday of fraud and corruption involving millions of dollars related to catering tenders at prisons.

Pic: Former Police Chief- Jackie Selebi