Tshwane council official held over building plan bribe

I applaud the efforts of the city in curbing corruption.  It is unfortunately a scourge on our society and must be stamped out at all costs if our nation is to truly prosper.

You will never totally eradicate corruption but the best way to do so is to ensure that the normal process is so efficient that there is no need to look for a "shortcut".  By eliminating the demand, you destroy the market.

There must therefore be a two-pronged approach to fighting corruption:

1. Zero-Tolerance to offenders who must be energetically prosecuted and harshly sentenced; and

2. Eliminate demand by making services so efficient that there is seldom (if ever) a need for a shortcut.

Gareth Shepperson
Commercial and Property Attorney

Tshwane council official held over building plan bribe

Some of the building plans that catapulted the Tshwane metro to the status of South Africa's building capital standings may have been approved fraudulently.

This is the implication of yesterday's arrest of a City of Tshwane building inspector suspected of accepting bribes from developers to approve plans for their developments.

The official - who cannot be named yet - is spending the weekend at the Silverton police station and will appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.

The arrest came barely a week after a survey conducted by Statistics South Africa showed the Tshwane metro recorded the highest value for building plans passed last year compared to any of the country's other five metropolitan municipalities.

Makgorometsa Makgata, head of Tshwane's city planning and development department, said alarm bells rang a while ago when developers complained about being 'asked for something' to ensure speedy approval when they submitted their building plans to the municipality.

Early this year and acting on the complaints, the department launched a forensic investigation into the allegations in conjunction with the Hawks.

This week, money totalling R5 000 was made available to a potential client and a trap set for the official, who has become the latest in the growing list of Tshwane employees and officials to have been arrested since the beginning of the year as the municipality cracks down on corruption.

He was initially due to meet the client at an upmarket restaurant at Silverlakes where he would have been arrested at about 11am.

By that time, the Hawks investigators had been waiting in and around the restaurant for most of the morning, unseen in the parking lot, which was swamped with patrons and members of the media.

The appointment was later changed to another restaurant a few kilometres away at the Silverwater Crossing shopping centre.

Just as it appeared the long wait at Silverlakes was repeating itself, officials from the Hawks walked out of the restaurant, having pounced on the unsuspecting man who had walked in to collect his bribe.

There was a brief discussion in the parking lot before the inspector was whisked off in an unmarked Hawks vehicle to the police station, his home for the weekend. All the money was recovered. Makgata said it was not yet known if other employees in the department had been involved.

Pretoria News Weekend


Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!