Bigger, white-collar corruption goes on with little to no action, while petty criminals who steal a loaf of bread in a shop are pounced on with fierce vim and vigour, the Congress of the People’s national spokesperson Dennis Bloem says.
Criticising the minimal output of police in certain apparent cases, Bloem says law enforcement is not showing any appetite in arresting thieves looting state coffers, even during a pandemic, such as Covid-19.
“Money that was supposed to provide clean drinking water to hundreds of people in the OR Tambo District Municipality was allegedly claimed for a so-called Covid-19 awareness campaign.
“[Police Minister Bheki] Cele must explain why is it so difficult for the police to act against these thugs, but very quick to arrest common criminals. The prisons are overcrowded with petty criminals, whilst all the white-collar criminals are roaming the streets and are still busy emptying the coffers of the state.
“It is quite clear that some influential individuals in the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape are in cahoots with the police and it is disgusting that these heartless thugs don’t even have respect for this dangerous enemy that the country is battling with, Covid-19.”
The OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape has been marred by corruption allegations as R170 million was allegedly paid to a bulk water service provider, without any work being done in exchange.
It’s alleged that more than R4 million in invoices were submitted to the office of the municipal manager for signing off on, for work related to combating the pandemic with door-to-door campaigns.
A municipal manager was suspended as the official allegedly refused to sign the suspect invoices.
This has led to both the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the DA laying fraud and corruption charges against the municipality.
Bloem says the Hawks need to prioritise such cases, and arrest thieves before they cause more damage to the already strained state coffers.