- An integrity unit has been set up to tackle corruption and prevent illegal gains by government employees
- The new unit will be known as the Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit
- According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the unit will, among other things, deal with cases of unexplained wealth among public servants
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A new unit has been established to ensure that government employees remain in check and do not benefit illegally from their positions as public servants.
The revelations were made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly newsletter on Monday after it emerged that certain public sector employees' lifestyles, among other things, do not match their salaries.
According to a News24 report, the introduction of the new ethics unit comes as thousands of public servants have been benefactors of social grants.
The new unit will be known as the Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit.
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In its role, and in the interest of proceeding with disciplinary proceedings in cases of misconduct, the unit will build capacity within public bodies and co-operate with other organs of state in holding those responsible to account.
"Corruption cases will be referred to the government's Anti-Corruption Task Team. To ensure criminal cases involving government employees end up as disciplinary cases, there will be follow-ups with departments," noted Ramaphosa.
Cases will be reported to law enforcement
The unit will also help to identify employees in priority cases under the investigation of law enforcement agencies.
In such cases, the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be notified of all corruption cases and unexplained wealth, according to Ramaphosa.
This was over and above 17 000 others, employed at national and provincial levels, applying for the grant, Covid-19 procurement, and committing UIF fraud.
Public service image to be restored
"[The employees did so] in a bid to top-up their salaries with money meant for the poor. Looking at the extent of need in the country, this wilful intent to steal from the public purse is unforgivable," said Ramaphosa.
Elaborating further on the unit's scope of work, the president said it will be instrumental in institutionalising ethics and integrity in the public service.
"The new unit will set norms and standards on ethics, integrity and conduct. The establishment of it is one way in which we hope to end corruption in government and all spheres of our country," he added.
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President Cyril Ramaphosa urges citizens to reject crime: "Not part of SA's heritage"
In recently published news, Briefly News reported that to mark Heritage Day 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address on Friday urging South Africans to reject the ills of crime.
The president condemned corruption, especially if public servants responsible for the welfare of citizens, among other things, are involved, News24 reported.
Noting several hugely publicised cases that brought the country into disrepute, Ramaphosa once again condemned the widespread looting and public violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July.
According to IOL, the president said the unrest disrupted the country's collective unity. However, Ramaphosa said it was essential for citizens to revisit the values and principles that make South Africa a great nation.
"People destroyed the same country we are working to build. In the aftermath of the violence, we have had to ask [some important questions]," said Ramaphosa.