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More whistleblowers report corruption during pandemic, police top the list

22 September 2020 6:43 PM
Tags:
SAPS
Bribery
Corruption Watch
Local government
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Graft
Food parcels
Extortion
Whistleblower
Wasteful expenditure
corruption in SA
COVID-19
PPE procurement
Kavisha Pillay
corruption trends
2020 CW report
misappropriation

Corruption Watch has released its 2020 report on corruption trends. Arabile Gumede interviews CW's Kavisha Pillay.

Corruption Watch says close to 2,000 people blew the whistle on graft during the first half of the year - an increase of 400 reports compared to the same period in 2019.

The organisation released the 2020 edition of its Analysis of Corruption Trends (ACT) report on Tuesday.

Primary researcher Melusi Ncala says the reports provide a snapshot of the corruption "that has manifested in every sphere of government, with the complicity of the private sector, and encompassing multiple sectors in our society".

2020 Analysis of Corruption Trends: Corruption Watch

Almost 55% of reports were received after the declaration of the National State of Disaster in mid-March.

Of these, 13% allege corruption in the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The police service, along with municipalities, schools, traffic and licensing centres and the health sector, account for almost a third of reported graft.

2020 Analysis of Corruption Trends: Corruption Watch

Arabile Gumede (in for Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show) interviews Kavisha Pillay, head of Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns at Corruption Watch.

Pillay says she's not that surprised at the the high number of reported cases concerning the police as they were in charge of implementing the lockdown.

The whistleblowers told us about bribery, abuse of power, police brutality.

Kavisha Pillay, Head: Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns - Corruption Watch

Other areas that emerged as hotspots were in relation to service delivery issues in municipalities and we do know that we have a major problem with local government in this country and corruption in local government

Kavisha Pillay, Head: Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns - Corruption Watch

Apart from the mismanagement of funds what was a really disturbing issue that emerged from some of these reports in relation to local councillors, is the theft of food parcels.

Kavisha Pillay, Head: Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns - Corruption Watch

It's heartbreaking says Pillay, that while so many South Africans were losing their incomes, others were looking at the pandemic as a get-rich-quick scheme.

What happened is that once the National State of Disaster was instituted there was a number of people who were looking to exploit the pandemic and the vulnerable state that our country - as well as the world - was in.

Kavisha Pillay, Head: Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns - Corruption Watch

While it's heartbreaking... I do want to say that it's not surprising. I think that when you've been focusing on... the big scandals be it state capture or the state-owned enterprises, what's come out in the report during the first six months of the year shows that corruption is pretty much entrenched into our society.

Kavisha Pillay, Head: Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns - Corruption Watch

The reports, whilst they do reveal some grand schemes of corruption, the majority of them reveal everyday petty cases of people being forced to engage in corrupt activities.

Kavisha Pillay, Head: Stakeholder Relations and Campaigns - Corruption Watch

For more detail, listen to the conversation on The Money Show:


22 September 2020 6:43 PM
Tags:
SAPS
Bribery
Corruption Watch
Local government
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Graft
Food parcels
Extortion
Whistleblower
Wasteful expenditure
corruption in SA
COVID-19
PPE procurement
Kavisha Pillay
corruption trends
2020 CW report
misappropriation

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