By line: Andani Matumba

18 February 2022

The Mpumalanga Special Investigative Unit and the Hawks hosted a successful workshop at the LCM church, Ext 25 at Kinross on Tuesday, 15 February 2022, educating community members on the mandate of the SIU and the role it plays in investigating matters relating corruption in the National, Provincial and Local spheres of government.

Advocate Kgasago who was a facilitator from the SIU said they only deal with serious investigations which include serious malpractice or maladministration relating to state institutions, state assets and public money as well as conduct which may seriously harm the interest of the public.

“We investigate matters wherein serious sums of money are involved, for example, we would not take priority in a matter where we investigate an embezzlement of R500 000.

We launch an investigation where when millions are involved and this not because we do not consider other matters as serious but we are governed by the scope of cases which the SIU has jurisdiction to investigate”. 

He further stated that concrete evidence should be provided by an interested party when a matter is being reported and the allegation should not just be based impulse.

According to the Advocate, a Special Tribunal shall have the jurisdiction to adjudicate upon civil proceedings brought before it by the Special Investigation Unit in its own name or on behalf of the state or any interested party as per the regulations of the SIU.

He further elaborated that the Special Tribunal has the same powers as any other High Court and the only difference is that it only adjudicate on SIU matters.

There are other government institutions which are mandated to deal with issues beyond the jurisdiction of the SIU. 

The SIU only starts investigating once the President has issued a proclamation in the government gazette.

The residents were urged to report any suspected corrupt behavior either by their community leaders and any other person whose lifestyle does not match their net income.

The residents raised a lot of concerns from procurement matters to service delivery and their grievances were noted. 

Some of the SIU delegation also embarked on a tour around Kinross to see some of the affected sections and validate the complaints which were brought before them during the workshop.

Illegal dumping site and a sewer spillage which situated in the heart of Ext 25 “Afghanistan” township in Kinross since 2019.

Also situated in Ext 25 is Kinross Mall which was announced in November 2016 still remains empty since 2019 and has not been handed over to the community. The structure was funded Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) to finance its construction wherein millions were disbursed to this effect.

Captain Semanya who was a facilitator for the Hawks said that the members of the public can also report directly to their offices.

 “The investigative process is a complex process where other stakeholders will have to be consulted such as banks and forensic investigators, cyber forensics, forensic accountants , forensic data analysts and a legal team to be able to thoroughly trace the money.

Whistle blowers can be protected if they feel their lives will be in danger after reporting”, added Semenya.

Whistle blower number for SIU (Mpumalangana Provincial Office):  013 752 1740.

You can also report in person at 4th Floor Sanlam Building, 25 Samora Machel Drive, Mbombela.

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