As South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa steps up efforts to crackdown on corruption, the justice minister said on Tuesday that they will probe allegations that state attorneys defrauded government of billions of dollars by deliberately losing cases.
Ramaphosa, who replaced former president Jacob Zuma in February, has made the fight against corruption a key plank of his administration as he seeks to restore investor confidence after the scandal-plagued Zuma era.
Attorneys accused of colluding
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 the settlement of fictitious claims.
Where appropriate ... disciplinary action as well as criminal investigations will be initiated against alleged perpetrators to ensure that firm action is taken to uproot corrupt activities.
“The investigation will help the Department of Justice to lay to rest concerns that have been raised,” Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters.
“Where appropriate … disciplinary action as well as criminal investigations will be initiated against alleged perpetrators to ensure that firm action is taken to uproot corrupt activities.”
In the health ministry, one of the departments worst affected by the alleged fraud, claims totalling 56 billion rand ($4 billion) will be investigated, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said at the same briefing.ALSO READ: South Africa court declares appointment of state prosecutor by ex-president Zuma ‘invalid’