by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa’s Asset Forfeiture Unit has in the past financial year obtained freezing orders to the value of R5,4 billion (US$320,3 million) relating to corruption offences.
Of this, R70 million has been paid into the Criminal Assets Recovery Fund.
President Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed the figures in his weekly letter, made available on Monday.
He said over the past eight years, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recovered funds and assets to the value of R2,6 billion and set aside contracts to the value of R18 billion.
A total of 119 cases worth more than R13 billion have been enrolled by the SIU at the Special Tribunal.
“Corruption is an extremely complex crime to prosecute,’ Ramaphosa said.
“Perpetrators go to extraordinary lengths to cover their tracks,” he added.
Nonetheless, two years since the Fusion Centre was established, its multidisciplinary approach to ‘follow the money’ has yielded significant results.
In the last financial year, the work of the centre supported 276 fraud and corruption investigations.
Approximately R659 million was restored to the state through preservation and recovery of the proceeds of crime.
About R613 million in suspected criminal proceeds were frozen.
Last week, the Hawks outlined some of the progress that has been made by the Anti-Corruption Task Team.
Between the 2019 and 2022 financial years, 554 suspects were arrested for corruption, of which 142 were convicted.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) last year completed 25 lifestyle audits to the value of over R450 million to resolve discrepancies between declared income and an individual’s lifestyle.
“It is clear that the measures we have taken as this administration to restore the capacity, capability and credibility of the institutions involved in the fight against corruption are having a demonstrable impact,” Ramaphosa said.
His sentiments coincided with the arrest of some former executives of the state-owned Transnet, for alleged corruption.
– CAJ News