Report: South Africa fighting losing battle against corruption, nearly trebled in 2 years

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The author of a new report says South Africa is fighting a losing battle against corruption, with graft costing taxpayers nearly 1 billion rand ($111 million) last year.

Lawyer Peter Allwright of law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs says although 88 percent of people tried for financial misconduct are found guilty only 19 percent are dismissed. He says most get off with a written warning and remain in government service and continue stealing.

Allwright says his report, based on figures from the Public Service Commission, covers only national and provincial governments, indicating the amount of money going missing from public coffers is more than that being reported.

He tells the AP that corruption "is rampant, it is out of control" and units fighting it "are essentially losing the battle."