Home News City hosts anti-corruption DPCI provincial roadshow

City hosts anti-corruption DPCI provincial roadshow

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The functions and purpose of the Office of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Judge was welcomed by various stakeholders during a roadshow by Hawks ombudsman, Judge Frans Kgomo.

Former Northern Cape High Court Judge President, Judge Frans Kgomo during the DPCI Anti-corruption Roadshow hosted at the Horseshoe Motel in Kimberley. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE FUNCTIONS and purpose of the Office of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Judge was welcomed by various stakeholders during a roadshow by Hawks ombudsman, Judge Frans Kgomo.

The mandate of the office is to investigate cases by the Hawks where there is political interference or any undue interference during such investigations and cases where members of the public’s rights have been violated during such investigations.

The Northern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Nomandla Bloem, said the roadshow will not only equip the public with information on their rights, but also afford them an understanding of what the role of Kgomo’s office is.

“The absence of knowing, understanding and having an awareness of the rights we have puts us at a material disadvantage and defeats the confidence with which we navigate access to services, to justice, safety, health, employment, and so forth. The nature, scope and significance of the work of the Hawks plays such an emotionally charged role in the collective consciousness of the South African people and in our quest for justice. These members, with expert, specialised knowledge and application, negotiate their way through the darkest, most complex and lurid criminal subterrain. As a woman and a fellow citizen, I know the relief, the sense of vindication in the right rule of the law and the supremacy of justice we feel as a collective sigh, whenever yet another scheme has been foiled, unearthed and perpetrators brought to book,” said Bloem.

“What this means is that we must be beyond reproach, consistent, unbiased with procedural integrity and honour. This also means we need to speak out when any force interferes with our ability to enforce the law. This is how we bring about not only justice but social justice.”

The MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, said corruption in both the public and private sector is detrimental to the government’s efforts to deliver effective services to the public.

Vass said the Office of the DPCI Judge will ensure that all such matters are rooted out without any prejudice or favour.

“We view the role of the DPCI Judge as very critical to holding us accountable and executing an oversight role in respect of the investigations conducted by the Hawks and securing members of the Hawks against improper interference and maintaining the consistency with which the law is applied,” said Vass.

“This all-important roadshow is also critical to our members of the public because public tolerance of corruption may temporarily remove a regulatory obstacle or even unlawfully enrich a person but at the cost of all the moral values and Constitutional principles which we have fought so hard to attain. We call on the public and all sectors of society to get involved in fighting corruption. By working together we can ensure that those who are corrupt have no place to hide.”

Judge Kgomo urged members of the Hawks to uphold strict code of conduct standards and to execute their duties with integrity.

“The respect of law is a cornerstone for a just and safe society. When corruption and organised crime flourish, sustainable development and economic growth are stunted and in turn the stability and security of society is put at risk,” said Kgomo.

He added that many accused persons abuse the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” with the aim of not wanting to take any accountability.

“The phrase is normally utilised when an accused is avoiding answering questions pertaining to accusations. This leads to an absurdly low standard of ethical discourse. Members of the Hawks should live with integrity, fight corruption and serve uncompromisingly,” Kgomo advised.

MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Nomandla Bloem . Picture: Soraya Crowie

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