The French Embassy in South Africa and the Special Investigating Unit tackle cyber crime
With South Africa being the top cybercrime target in Africa, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the French Embassy together with the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday 28 June 2017 in Pretoria.
H.E. Christophe Farnaud, Ambassador of France to South Africa, J. L. Mothibi, CEO of the Special Investigating Unit and M. Thibela acting CEO of the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority signed the MoU.
This MoU will result in capacity building of 350 forensic investigators being trained in cyber forensic investigations with the support of a French Inte rnational Technical expert regional advisor on cybercrime. The first training is scheduled in September 2017.
In 2016, it was estimated that 8.8 million South Africans were hit by cybercrime. South Africa currently ranks as having the world’s third highest cybercrime attacks losing in excess of R2.2 billion to internet fraud and phishing attacks annually.
The SIU was established in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunal Act, Act No 74 of 1996 and its principal mandate is to investigate corruption, malpractice and maladministration in State institutions. To deliver on its mandate, the SIU recruits skilled personnel and where possible, collaborates with relevant institutions to assist with training and capacity building and this MOU is an example of such collaboration.
The French Embassy is assisting the SIU in increasing its cyber skills capacities to fight corruption with the competencies of the first French advisor on cybercrime posted abroad. Today, in our connected world many opportunities are created for criminals and the growth in online services increase the scale of corruption. Nowadays, digital skills are a key part of all investigation related to corruption. As cybercrime has no boundaries this MoU highlights the critical role of international cooperation (exchange of best practices and knowledge) to address the world digital revolution.
The EU Dialogue Facility Program played a critical role in bringing together the three counterparts of this agreement giving effect to this tripartite arrangement while the DHET played a leading role in ensuring that the Trade Development and Co-operation Agreement between the Republic of South Africa and the EU contribute in this way towards the achievement of the SA National Development Plan.