SIU recovered at least R1.8 billion in the past year, denting ‘culture of impunity’

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The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered cash and assets worth at least R1.8 billion in the past financial year.

This was revealed during the unit’s recent presentation of its annual report to Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional Services.

According to SIU head, advocate Andy Mothibi, the unit has also handed at least 15 investigative reports to President Cyril Ramaphosa for consideration.

“From the Presidency’s side, there is a decision that has been taken to release the SIU reports to the state institutions [they concern]…

“The speed with which consequence management is done requires an improvement because although it’s happening, it’s happening at a slow pace,” he told Parliament.

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Mothibi assured the committee that the unit was committed to “dealing with the culture of impunity” in government and state entities.

“The culture of impunity can be dealt with only when consequence management is implemented.

“We would like to ensure that that part is dealt with, so that anyone – in any part of the organisation – is dealt with when they are found to be in the wrong.”

Mothibi said in the courts and the Special Tribunal, the unit had scored victories where it successfully reviewed and set aside at least R7 billion in government contracts and administrative decisions.

Also in the courts, he said, SIU investigations led to the submission of evidence in cases involving at least R64.8 billion in state finances.

Mothibi said the Special Tribunal is an “important forum” for the speedy conclusion of civil proceedings.

“At the moment, there about 40 cases that have been issued at the Special Tribunal with a contract value of about R5 billion. Those cases are still to be adjudicated… to ensure that we recover from those contracts that have been set aside.

“Given the delays that we have observed in the past [in] taking matters to the high court, it is really questionable whether we would have achieved this speeding up of civil proceedings (sic)… The tribunal has been a game changer in ensuring that we speed up civil litigation and recoveries.”

Mothibi said the unit has once again received a clean audit – the fifth in a row.

“We look forward to upholding an important clean audit status for the future, as it attests to overall good governance in the institution. The SIU would not have achieved this clean audit and other outcomes without the continued commitment and hard work of all SIU members.

“We will continue to, at all times, uphold the principles of good governance, sound financial management, sound risk and legal management, integrity and prudence in all that we do and in the decision-making process.”

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Source: citizen