Bosasa still acting with impunity - James Selfe

DA MP queries why criminal investigations have taken so long, after damning SIU report

Bosasa contract: Mti's R30-million house gift shows culture of impunity is setting in

The report in this morning's City Press revealing that former national commissioner of correctional services, Linda Mti, allegedly received a R30-million house from prisons tender winner Bosasa, demonstrates that Bosasa's tenders with the Department need to be halted, and that pending criminal and civil proceedings recommended by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) need to be instituted (see report).

The SIU investigation into this matter found existence of an "improper and corrupt" relationship between Bosasa and Department of Correctional Services officials, and recommended that criminal charges be instituted against the involved parties. While a criminal trial against Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Gillingham, has already been instituted, albeit delayed, eighteen months after the report's completion, the Minister of Correctional Services has yet to take decisive action.

It is difficult to understand why criminal investigations may have taken this long, without any sign of real progress. That a R30-million luxury house was apparently handed over as a gift to Mr. Mti by Bosasa is clearly most irregular, and points, one would have thought, to a strong prima facie case against Mr. Mti. Furthermore, it is perturbing that Bosasa has had is contracts renewed and continues to be awarded new contracts.

The fact is that a culture of impunity has set in to the Department of Correctional Services, and the Bosasa episode demonstrates precisely why the ANC government is failing to tackle corruption and maladministration. The former correctional services commissioner who attempted to act against corruption in the Department, Vernie Peterson, was simply redeployed.

The lack of any accountability in this department continues to undermine attempts to create a functional correctional services administration. The Minister needs to take strong action in light of these reports, further criminal charges against the involved parties need to be instituted and all Bosasa's current and future contracts halted.

Statement issued by James Selfe MP, DA Shadow Minister of Correctional Services, March 20 2011

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter