Profiles: South Africa

Last Updated: January 2015


The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is an independent statutory body that is accountable to Parliament and the President. Its primary mandate is to recover and prevent financial losses to the state caused by acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration. The SIU also assists departments with systemic improvements that improve service delivery. The SIU was established by the President in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunal Act, Act No 74 of 1996 (SIU Act). It receives its budget through the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The SIU has powers to subpoena, search, seize and interrogate witnesses under oath. The SIU can take civil action to correct any wrongdoing it uncovers in its investigations. Where criminal conduct is uncovered, it will bring the matter to the attention of its partners Hawks in the South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). It works closely with them to ensure that there is an effective investigation and prosecution. The SIU also works closely with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in the NPA, where its powers are more appropriate or effective in recovering the proceeds of crime.

Does your government have a single or primary anticorruption strategy?

No, we have different agencies with different strategies. They are updated regularly as when required.

What are the main anticorruption laws of your country?

  • Public Finance Management Act of 1999
  • Prevention of Organized Crime Act121 of 1998
  • Constitution of the Republic of south Africa
  • Municipal financial Management Act 56 of 2003
  • Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001
  • Prevention and combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004
  • Prevention of Corruption Act 1988
  • others

Is there one agency in charge of coordinating AC efforts across agencies?

Government established the Anti-Corruption Task Team

Functions Investigation,Forensic
Permanent Staff 550
Number of prosecutors(if applicable) 0
Number of investigators (if Applicable) +400

Number of cases handled annually

Budget Autonomy No
Annual Budget of the Agency +500 million (rand)
Are employees protected by law from recrimination or other negative consequences when reporting corruption (i.e. whistle-blowing)? Yes
Does your country have freedom of information legislation? Yes
Does your country have conflict of interest legislation? Yes
Does your country have a financial disclosure system to help prevent conflicts of interest? Yes
Who appoints the head of your agency? The President
Who has the authority to remove the head of the ACA? The President
Is there any term limit for the head of the ACA? No
Does your agency measure performance? Yes
Number of investigations launched
Number of investigations completed
Other, please specify
Amount recovered
Number of disciplinary referred
Number of criminal referred
Full access to Government Yes