Top private forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan has urged officials of the City of Joburg’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit to be always on the lookout for “high-profile” scams targeting the City and its entities.
O’Sullivan was one of the experts and top government officials who recently addressed the first day of the unit’s three-day breakaway strategic session being held in Centurion to look into how best to fight corruption using innovative and cost-effective methods.
Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba has declared corruption public enemy No 1.
The breakaway session, which ended on Friday July 7, was also looking at how the unit, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya, former Gauteng head of crime-busting unit the Hawks, could improve its work and sharpen its programmes in its mission to fight corruption within the City.
O’Sullivan said if city investigators were not adequately empowered to detect crime, the fight against organised crime would be “fruitless”. He said with the City’s budget running into several billions of rands, there would always be attempts by criminals to scam it.
“Corruption is everywhere. It is, therefore, important to understand the trends of crime so as to be in a position to decisively and adequately deal with it,” said O’Sullivan.
He added that it was important for the City to employ “the right people”, especially in high-risk units, and have systems in place to protect the integrity of the City’s systems.
Also speaking at the session was Vunatha Murugan, Director in the Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura responsible for the Integrity Unit. Murugan said the provincial government was working closely with various government structures, including the City of Johannesburg, to fight crime.
She said it was critical to have open communication lines between all spheres of government and share best practices in dealing with crime and corruption. National Prosecuting Authority Senior Advocate Gideon Nkoana told delegates that his unit was always available to work with the GFIS in the fight against organised crime and corruption.