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JCPS cluster clamps down fraud and corruption

Officials who have, and are benefitting from corrupt activities will be named and shamed to the public through the media, said Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe.

Addressing the media during the post State Of the Nation Address (SONA) briefing on Sunday, Minister Radebe said: “In the next few days, we will be publishing all the names of people who have been convicted in cases of corruption and all those whose assets have either been frozen or have been forfeited to the state, so that the public knows these corrupt officials.”

To date, 87 persons have been identified as having potentially benefited more than R5million from corrupt activities. The minister confirmed that freezing orders have already been obtained against 32 persons who personally benefited from these activities. “The use of freezing orders is an important weapon to fighting corruption to prevent those involved from benefiting while their cases are being finalised,” alluded Mr Radebe.

The Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster is committed to fighting corruption at all levels and since the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) in 2010, a remarkable progress has been made in recovering the proceeds of corruption.

Minister Radebe indicated that assets of 59 persons, valued at R816 million have already been frozen with nearly R78 million already been forfeited and returned to the state. The task team, working with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has recovered three (3) farms to the value of R59 million which were lost through corruption. Another five (5) farms, valued at R74 million have been frozen and would be recovered soon.

The minister further confirmed that an intervention, in Limpopo, where the ACTT is currently investigating 39 criminal cases involving fraud and corruption is progressive. Currently, 29 persons and four (4) companies were brought before court as part of on-going criminal investigations.

With regards to the filling of all vacant posts at critical institutions within the justice system, Minister Radebe indicated that the posts of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and the Head of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) will be made soon by Honourable President Jacob Zuma.

During the briefing, it was also reported that the Electronic Case Management System (ECMS)  introduced to ensure the integration of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is in operation. The integration with SAPS systems was established in early February to provide instant messaging and case details to the process clerks, eliminating manual data capturing.

The system will enable the prosecutors to manage the electronic information relating to criminal cases which will include electric charge sheets and ability to enrol cases electronically. The ECMS is planned to be rolled out to 20 more sites by the end of this year and to additional 100 sites by December 2014.

In ensuring an increase in the detection of cyber security, the Minister Radebe said: “We are stepping up our measures to address cyber security and will soon make an announcement on the progress regarding the implementation of the National Cyber Security Policy Framework.”

He added that there have been several successful investigations leading to trials regarding cybercrime matters. “By December 2012, 113 cases of cybercrime were finalised with an 83.1 percent conviction rate,” the minister said.

South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployment at the country’s borders continues to contribute significantly in reducing the levels of crime and safeguarding of oversight of the country. During the past year, a total of 19 887 undocumented persons were apprehended; 18 844 weapons seized; 7 726kg of dagga confiscated; stolen vehicles recovered; criminals arrested and 10 301 livestock recovered.

“The JCPS Cluster continues to build a criminal justice system that is responsive to the needs of the people and is able to handle the security needs of our country, “he concluded.

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Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe, Intelligence Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and Justice Deputy Minister Andries Nel during the post SONA media briefing in Pretoria.

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Minister Jeff Radebe during the post SONA media briefing in Pretoria recently.

By Glory Msungwa