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Hands free to rob public purse?


It is not only the VBS scandal where there has been no action taken against suspected wrongdoing

THE announcement that only two officials have been sacked over the VBS scandal does nothing to inspire confidence in the state, the police and the prosecuting authority.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma revealed to Parliament recently that only two officials were dismissed and 10 others suspended for illegally opening accounts with the Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank.

Despite several directors, businessmen and politicians from the EFF and the ruling ANC being named in the VBS scandal, not a single person has been investigated or arrested by law enforcement agencies.

The 148-page report by advocate Terry Motau titled “The Great Bank Heist” lifted the lid on the widespread looting that saw perpetrators steal almost R2 billion.

It is encouraging to see action being taken against officials who broke the law by investing ratepayers’ money with the bank.

However, going after officials while turning a blind eye to high-profile and politically connected people gives an impression that South Africa is tolerant towards corruption.

It is not only the VBS scandal where there has been no action taken against suspected wrongdoing.

The revelations made at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry against politicians have also not translated to meaningful action against alleged culprits.

The price tag for the inquiry is currently sitting at R350 million and there are signs this figure will continue to increase.

As taxpayers, we would not mind footing the hefty bill as long as we were confident that such expenditure would rid our country of those guilty of helping themselves to the public purse.

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