19 April 2021 - NW951
Steyn, Ms A to ask the President of the Republic
(1)Whether, considering that he is in receipt of a number of reports from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) spanning a number of departments, and given his obligation to protect the public and further considering that identified individuals in the specified reports may hold professional status with a Statutory Council, he will pass such reports on to the relevant statutory councils so that any licensed persons (details furnished) are held to account in order to protect the Republic; if not, why not; if so, (a) on what date and (b) what are the further relevant details; (2) whether he will make it a policy in respect of any government official who is/was investigated and/or charged internally in the past, present and future to be reported to their relevant statutory body for investigation in terms of the professions code of conduct; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what (a) total number of professionals are implicated in the SIU reports and (b) field of expertise is each implicated professional serving in?
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigations are regulated in terms of the Special Investigation Unit and Special Tribunal Act, 1996.
According to this Act, the SIU is empowered to investigate serious malpractices or maladministration in connection with the administration of State institutions defined in the Act.
Section 1 of the Act defines State institution to “mean any national or provincial department, any local government, any institution in which the State is the majority or controlling shareholder or in which the State has a material financial interest, or any public entity as defined in section 1 of the Reporting by Public Entities Act, 1992 (Act No. 93 of 1992)”.
All final reports of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) received by my Office are therefore released to all affected State institutions to implement the recommendations of the SIU.
In the case of SIU making certain findings of wrongdoing against a particular professional based on evidence, the SIU refers this to the relevant professional body with recommendations regarding professional disciplinary action.
The said referral is accompanied by relevant evidence to enable the professional body to institute the recommended disciplinary action and hold the professional to account.
The SIU has established a function which will follow up with the statutory professional bodies or councils to establish whether the SIU recommendation is implemented.
The SIU also makes similar referrals to government where there is evidence of wrongdoing by any government official. In the latter case, a referral accompanied by evidence is sent to the Accounting Officer or Accounting Authority of the relevant state institution to enable the Accounting Officer or the Accounting Authority to institute disciplinary action and thus to hold the official to account.
In view of the above there is no need to develop a separate policy in this regard.
The SIU has found evidence of wrongdoing by five (5) professionals – all attorneys – since January 2011. In each case, referrals were made to the relevant professional body.