The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) calls for corrupt public servants with an insatiable appetite for embezzling public funds to be flushed out, to ensure a corruption-free government.
This comes after a 43-year-old employee of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was granted R10 000 bail in a Durban Court on Wednesday, after being charged with fraud to the tune of R3.9 million. According to reports, Sithembile Khumalo allegedly compiled orders and awarded tenders to service providers, as well as submitted fraudulent documents and invoices without any services being rendered.
This should be a lesson to anyone involved in corruption that they will be found, and punished. We want to see more arrests being made, as the Department of Agriculture is known to be fertile ground for corruption. Past corruption scandals that rocked the KZN Department of Agriculture include R200 million of its drought-relief budget‚ meant as relief for subsistence farmers and struggling smallholder farmers‚ as well as bigger commercial farmers, as well as R10 million alleged to be have been misspent on the Mjindi Farming Project, being unaccounted for.
People who are stealing public monies must be severely punished. Courts must show no mercy to those stealing funds meant to develop our communities and eradicate poverty. Corruption has a devastating effect on poor people – especially corruption in the public service. It costs the government millions every year; money that could have been spent on delivering services. Officials colluding with suppliers by flouting supply-chain management processes must be stopped in their tracks.
The IFP urges Courts to mete out harsh sentences, to deter public servants from stealing taxpayers’ money. All corrupt officials found guilty must pay back all monies stolen from government. This must be non-negotiable.
Mr Nhlanhla Msimango, MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Agriculture
074 259 0820