Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba has warned that police officers trading with the SA Police Service (SAPS) will be severely punished from now on.
This warning was made after it emerged that 23 active police officers had traded with the SAPS in the 2015/2016 financial year that ended in March 2016.
While responding to questions by DA MP David Ross during members of parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) sitting on Tuesday, Mothiba said he has called for stronger action to be taken against police officers found doing business with the state.
In May 2017, the Scopa heard that SAPS has the highest number of civil servants doing business with the state among all government departments.
The startling revelation was made by the auditor general in his report presented in Parliament. He highlighted, like in other years, lack of consequence management for transgressions across all spheres of government.
Trading with the state is a practice that has since become illegal following the passage of the enactment of the public service administration act last year.
In the 2015/2016 financial year, Mzu Business Enterprises – a company belonging to one warrant officer’s company was found to have scored a contract worth R1‚552‚669‚ while another owned by a constable received a tender worth R543‚495.
Connex Travel, a company which lists former police commissioner Riah Phiyega as a board member scored the lowest tender amount of R9‚729. Phiyega resigned from the company in 1999.
Lesetja Mothiba reiterated that police officers found doing business with the state will now be dealt severely, as stiffer measures would be put in place as deterrents.
“Subject to the investigation‚ we have conducted‚ we would really want stronger action. Stronger than that (disqualification)‚” he added.
Contributing also, ANC MP Nyami Booi asserted that the major problem plaguing the SAPS is corruption, adding that issues like this cannot be easily resolved un the face of corruption.
“There’s corruption inside the police. these things happened under your guard. How are you supposed to convince the public that you are doing a good job?,” Booi asked.
IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa added: “This is the SAPS, who are the alpha and omega of law enforcement, but at the very heart of the SAPS is an implosion.”
Early this year, South Africa’s National Treasury discovered about 12,000 dead people in its register of companies that do business with the state. About 14,000 state employees were found to have been listed as directors of companies that have been awarded state contracts.