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A retired high-ranking policeman tells Parliament that state agencies lack integrity and are still captured

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Lerato Mbhiza

A top-ranking retired police officer Jap Burger told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts that the integrity of government organs has not been restored, despite the recommendations of the State Capture Commission.

Burger told Parliament that the State Security Agency (SSA) has been reluctant to deal with corruption at Eskom and had even shut down investigations.

After a five-month stand-off with Parliament, Burger finally appeared on Wednesday to unpack the dirt on how corruption was being treated by the country’s law enforcement agencies.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has been probing allegations made by former Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, since April, with the view to determining whether an inquiry is necessary.

A police officer of over 40 years, Burger, who is a former Brigadier, said he was co-opted to work on Eskom corruption investigations by the former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head, Johan Booysen.

But he said that the focus tended to be on transnational crimes rather than taking down syndicates.

“Don’t underestimate the amount of support and contamination that there is in the government sector from the organised crime syndicates. You would be amazed.”

Burger said that he asked the SSA to verify information which emerged from a private intelligence exercise at Eskom by a forensic company owned by former police commissioner, George Fivaz.

“I shared some of the information with them in order to validate it, in other words, corroborate it, substantiating information, and that’s where it was all shut down. All cooperation with them was just shut down. In other words, they didn’t want to deal with it.”

Burger told MPs a lot still needs to be done to ensure that government entities appoint people of integrity.

“Many of the state organs have not yet been uncaptured, the integrity has not been restored. The security clearance and vetting processes are one of the many instruments to start cleaning out and ensuring that we have people and institutions of integrity.

“We don’t have institutions of integrity. We have not cleaned out. Just look at the National Prosecuting Authority. We have some prosecutors who are involved in criminality. They are not cleaned out.

“In 2018, I worked on a process that we call the integrity support process, which uses data to fast-track the integrity testing of an individual that was presented, and guess what happened then? It was killed off.

“No further resources to develop it, and there was never further development – so was that a deliberate attempt or just a failure in the system that the initiative was not taken forward?

“We are working against resistance,” said Burger.

Burger also apologised to parliamentarians, saying his previous refusals to appear before them was not because of arrogance.

“It wasn’t a position of arrogance but a position of I’m working from a contaminated space. Even if you look at the address by the national commissioner, he misrepresented me, that’s why I wrote the letter to the Speaker.”

Last month, Parliament issued a subpoena to force him to appear on 15 November after it had previously heard that he was afraid to give testimony in public.


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