IN an effort to combat corruption, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the establishment of the Special Tribunal has resulted in the recovery of $570 million from unlawful contracts.
‘For any fight against corruption to be deemed effective, it is not sufficient that perpetrators are prosecuted. The proceeds of their crimes must be recovered,’ Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter on Monday.
Ramaphosa said since the Special Tribunal Court was set up in 2019, this amount of money had been recovered from companies involved in corrupt state contracts. As a result of creating the Special Tribunal, public funds and state assets lost as a result of corrupt acts are now more likely to be reclaimed in a shorter period, avoiding delays in the high courts, where the Special Investigative Unit must wait its turn along with other litigants.
‘Over the past few weeks alone, the Tribunal has reviewed and set aside more than R100 million worth of irregular and unlawful contracts arising from Covid-related procurement,’ he said.
Ramaphosa said that while the funds recovered were good in the fight against corruption, it would take time to ‘unravel the vast webs of patronage that had become entrenched.’
He warned that the state capacity has been eroded by these corrupt relationships. The state has been hampered in offering decent healthcare and delivering clean water, and in ensuring a consistent supply of electricity for communities and businesses.