Reporting fraud and corruption


There are a variety of national and provincial institutions that handle government fraud and corruption. Each of these entities deals with specific kinds of cases:

Corruption and Maladministration by Government Officials Office of the Public Protector
Complaints against the Police Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
Complaints about Human Rights Violations South African Human Rights Commission
Irregularities in the Western Cape Provincial Government Forensic Audit Component of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape
Complaints Regarding the Misuse of Government Vehicles in the Province Government Motor Transport Component of the Department of Transport and Public Works
Complaints Regarding Corruption and Abuse in Western Cape Schools Safer Schools Call Centre
Conduct of City of Cape Town Officials City of Cape Town Public Complaints Commission





New Public Protector

The Constitution created the Office of the Public Protector as an entity to handle and investigate complaints from the public against government agencies or officials. The Public Protector has the power to recommend corrective action and to issue reports. The Public Protector holds office for seven years before the President appoints a new Public Protector. The current Public Protector is Busisiwe Mkhwebane. 

The Public Protector's services are free and available to everyone. When you lay a complaint with the Office of the Public Protector, they'll investigate the matter and if the complaint is justified, they'll try to rectify the situation. The Public Protector handles complaints in a confidential manner.

The Public Protector can investigate government officials at any level, including national, provincial and local authorities and anyone who performs a public function, such as:

  • A state employee.
  • A policeman (you can also contact the Independent Complaints Directorate).
  • An electoral officer.
  • Parastatals, like Eskom or Telkom.
  • Statutory councils, like the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) or the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The Public Protector is responsible for looking into complaints about:

  • Abuse of power.
  • Unfair, erratic, discourteous or other improper conduct.
  • Unjustifiable delays.
  • Human rights violations (you can also approach the South African Human Rights Commission).
  • Maladministration.
  • Dishonesty or improper dealings with respect to public money.
  • Improper enrichment.
  • Receipt of improper advantage.

The Public Protector does not investigate the following types of complaints:

  • Court judgments and sentences.
  • Private acts by individuals.
  • Private companies.
  • Private doctors and lawyers.
How to Lay a Complaint with the Public Protector

If a prejudiced decision has been made by a government official affecting you, you should first:

  • Speak to the official(s) involved.
  • Then write to the person in charge of the official(s).
  • Then approach your Member of the National or Provincial Parliament.
  • Then write to the Public Protector.

If you write to the Public Protector you should include the following information:

  • The nature of your complaint.
  • The background to your complaint.
  • Reasons why you feel your complaint should be investigated by the Public Protector.
  • Steps you have taken to solve the problem yourself (if applicable). You should mention names of the officials you have been dealing with, on what dates, and what was said. Copies of any correspondence between you and the officials should be attached to your letter.
  • A telephone number where you can be contacted, if you have one.
  • In some instances the Public Protector may require a statement under oath before investigating.

If you are unsure whether your problem is something the Public Protector will investigate, or if you cannot write, you can phone the Public Protector's office. There are trained professional staff members who will listen to your complaint, big or small, and conduct investigations.

You could also visit the office for an interview or a consultation, if you prefer. It is better to write first and ask for an interview in the letter.

Contact Details
  • Head Office
    Private Bag X677, Pretoria, 0001
    174 Lynnwood Road, Hillcrest Office Park, Pretoria
    Tel: 012 366 7000
    Toll-free: 0800 112 040
    Fax: 012 362 3473


  • Western Cape Provincial Office
    51 Wale Street, Cape Tow
    PO Box 712, Cape Town, 8000
    Tel: 021 423 8644
    Fax: 021 423 8708

Reporting Irregularities: Western Cape Government 

Any irregularities in the Western Cape Government can be reported to the Forensic Audit Component of the Provincial Administration. This includes instances of corruption, fraud, theft and misuse of government property.

  • Irregularities can be reported anonymously by post, telephone, fax or e-mail to:

    Street address: 9 Riebeek Street, 4th Floor, Atterbury House, Cape Town
    Postal address: PO Box 659, Cape Town, 8000
    Toll-free: 0800 701 701
    Tel: 021 483 0901
    Fax: 021 483 0928

In order to ensure that matters can be properly investigated, detailed information on the alleged irregularity is required. If you want to make a report, you should try to provide as much of the following information as possible:

The Irregularity

  • What is the nature of the irregularity (eg theft, corruption, fraud)?
  • How and where did the irregularity occur?
  • Is this an ongoing problem and for how long has it been occurring?
  • Do you have any proof or evidence regarding the irregularity? For example, in the case of theft, do you know where the stolen goods are being stored?
  • Does anyone else have knowledge of the irregularity and would they be willing to provide information to the investigating officers?
  • Can you assign a monetary value to the irregularity?

The Suspected Officials

  • What are the suspected government officials' names, which departments do they work in and what are their posts?
  • What are the names of any other individuals involved?
  • Have the suspected officials been involved in other irregularities before?

The Complainant

  • Have you reported this before? If so, to whom and what follow-up action was taken?
  • Did you witnessed the irregularity, or if not, how did you found out about it?
  • Are you willing to compile an affidavit and testify?
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The content on this page was last updated on 19 December 2017