South African state attorneys to be probed


South Africa will probe allegations that state attorneys defrauded government of billions by deliberately losing cases, the justice minister said, the latest crackdown on corruption under President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma in February, made the fight against corruption a key part of his administration as he seeks to restore investor confidence after the scandal-plagued Zuma era.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), a state entity which probes malpractice in government, will look into hundreds of cases where state attorneys are accused of colluding with private lawyers to agree settlement of fictitious claims.
“The investigation will help the Department of Justice lay to rest concerns raised,” Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters.
“Where appropriate disciplinary action as well as criminal investigations will be initiated against alleged perpetrators to ensure firm action is taken to uproot corrupt activities.”

In the health ministry, one of the departments worst affected by alleged fraud, claims totalling 56 billion Rand will be investigated, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said.