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ANTI-CORRUPTION TASK TEAM REFERS 7 CASES TO DPP

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MBABANE – Work has already started for the Anti-corruption Task Team, as seven cases have been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs).

This is according to the Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Jabu Phakathi, who said they were expecting some of the cases to be out soon. This follows the launch of the Anti-corruption Task Team by the Prime Minister (PM), Russell Dlamini, to enhance the fight against corruption. The team comprises of the DPP, the national commissioner (NATCOM) of police, and the commissioner of the ACC.

The DPP’s Office is currently held by the Acting DPP, Lomvula Hlophe, while NATCOM’s Office is occupied by Lydia Dlamini. Maphevu Mkhatshwa is holding the fort at the ACC Commissioner’s Office. The task team will report to the PM and will work with the Minister of Justice And Constitutional Affairs, Prince Simelane.
Phakathi said the task team was launched about two weeks ago and they had managed to refer the seven cases to the DPP’s Office for review.

She explained that the cases would be reviewed for their readiness for them to apply for warrants. According to Phakathi, once the DPP clears the cases, they would then approach the court for warrants of search and seizure. She stated that they were expecting the cases to be out soon. Adding, the director revealed that the task team had 16 investigators which comprise of officers from the ACC and the police.

In the same vein, she said the DPP had designated prosecutors who would assist with investigations. “The aim is to shorten the time it takes to conclude cases,” Phakathi said. She went on to state that the task team had been allocated a budget that would help them fulfil their mandate but there was a need for additional office space and motor vehicles.

Transparency

In terms of transparency and accountability, Phakathi mentioned that guided by Section 18 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006, the task team would be transparent in its cases to protect the integrity of investigations.
She said the ACC was guided by the same Act, on how transparent it could be with cases under investigation.

According to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006, Section 18(a) any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse discloses to any other person who is the subject of an inquiry or investigation under this Act, the fact that other person is subject to that inquiry or investigation or any details of that inquiry or investigation; or (b) publishes or discloses to any other person either the identity of a person who is the subject of an inquiry or investigation or any details of that inquiry or investigation, commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding E20 000 or to imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both.

During the launch of the task team, the PM said they all had confidence in the team that they would deliver. Dlamini said they were looking forward to having those responsible for corruption held accountable. He also challenged the nation to come together and fight against corruption.

“Fighting corruption should not be rhetoric but must be demonstrated by action and evidence that corrupt individuals are brought to book and dealt with according to the law,” Dlamini said. He further said the DPP was expected to prioritise corruption cases henceforth.

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