Dear Friends,

Welcome to the second edition of Corruption Watch’s newsletter that reflects on our activities in February. We are almost in the second quarter of the year. A Luta Continua – the fight against corruption continues!

Latest action

Acting superintendent-general, Abe Seakamela has been fired from North West education department after a whistleblower reported allegations of nepotism to Corruption Watch early last year. Read more here.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi has finally heeded Corruption Watch’s call to look into the findings of our investigation into a R30-million tender won by Mvula Trust to manage the distribution of hundreds of millions of rands through a communities-based job-creation project, the Community Work Programme (CWP).  The minister recently announced that an investigation is now under way into whether any collusion or corruption took place in the CWP and that this may result in criminal charges against those involved in the department. Corruption Watch collaborated with 702 Eyewitness News and Daily Maverick to uncover the scandal and put more pressure to the department to investigate further. This exposé accentuates the significance of partnering with media to expose perpetrators of corruption. Read more here.

Corruption Watch recently exposed a school principal accused of masterminding a burglary and getting two learners to get the rap. The two youngsters in Seabe village near Hamaanskraal are now facing criminal charges after they broke into Mmutle Combined School and stole bicycles, computers and other valuable learning material. Read more here.

In February we released the following media statements:

  • Corruption Watch exposes ‘fronting’ in R30m Mvula Trust contract. Read this statement here and Minister Richard Baloyi’s response
  • Government should do more than name and shame the already convicted. Read this statement here.
  • Call to President Zuma ahead of State of the Nation address. Read this statement here.

February also saw Corruption Watch being covered in 159 clips by various media. Broadcast recorded the greatest coverage – 54%, while online accounted for 26% and print media coverage for 20%.

What do our reports from the public say this month?

Local government and schools were the sectors most reported on by the public in February, while transport and social development were the least reported on during this period. The greatest number of reports came from Gauteng, with a minimal number of tip-offs coming from the remaining provinces. Abuse of power and public procurement were the most common types of corruption reported this month.

Schools campaign

We are making headway in the schools campaign and have drawn a significant number of incident reports from the public implicating both schools and local government structures. Schools corruption, particularly among principals and governing body members, is a big trend we’re picking up from what the public reports to us.

Empowering citizens with knowledge is one of the best ways of fighting corruption, so we’ve made public education one of our big focus areas this year. With this uppermost in our minds, we’ve recently put together guides that unpack conflict of interest, Paia applications and the Combating and Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act.

Read Dale T McKinley’s article on building strategic coalitions in civil society.

We would like to thank you for your continued support and encourage you to share your stories with us.