PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Rhyno
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 745
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Rhyno's badges.
 

Small bribes go a long way

18 April 2012, 07:24

Anyone who’s travelled somewhere in Africa knows that there is only one rule to remember when doing so; always tuck a buck or so into your palm when dealing with the locals.

This rule extends even more so when dealing with some sort of official, be it border control or the dreaded blue light brigade, fining you for anything imaginable.

I recently returned from Mozambique, a place revered for the eloquently coined “African Handshake”, a place where R 200 can buy the way through any stop, no matter if your cargo consists of a kilo of Colombia’s finest, rhino horn, or just your average jacket and underwear filled Samsonite suitcase.

The bottom line is, if you get pulled over, be it next to the road or the border queue, you ARE going to reach for your wallet. You know the one you use for show... with a couple of low denominations packed inside, so it always seems like your giving them all of your money!

It truly is the law of the land...if you have wealth to spread... it shall be spread (even if you don’t have it).

These encounters are a stark reminder of the fact that all problems, no matter what their size, needs to be addressed at the core.

It’s not me you have to listen to here, it’s just plain maths.

A mathematical problem is best resolved when you break it down to its most basic form, and then start rebuilding from there.

The same concept applies to any other problem; in this case, corruption.

As a personal rule I never offer bribes to South African officials, and for a legion of reasons which among others include the fact that it’s the small things that snowball to uncontrollable sizes.

If you manage to eradicate something as small as a R 50 bribe in order to avoid a R 300 fine, you’re more than half way to uprooting large scale corruption.

In countries, especially in Africa, where poverty causes this type of behaviour, the eventuality is that a culture of corruption becomes the order of the day, making it close to impossible to combat in the long run.

We all know this country has a crime problem, which, to a certain degree, we could understand in terms of non-violent crimes (now bear with me here).

The thing that made most of us sick to the core was the absolute unnecessary violence associated with crimes that were supposed to be relatively “petty”. Burglars and hijackers who simply murder and rape comes to mind, notwithstanding the fact that they already got away with the primary crime, being robbery or theft, itself.

According to a report released in 2010 by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) (yes, I was also amazed that there is such a place), up to a third of these types of crimes were committed by people 19 year and younger.

Now, if you consider the age involved in violent crimes, to a certain extent, then you can’t help but to reach the conclusion that this “culture” is associated with a complete lack of education, especially towards morality.

Apply this concept to corruption, and you find that small bribes tend to pave the way for multi-million Rand tender fraud and miss-appropriation of funds.

I suppose the bottom line is that people that stand on the sidelines, complaining about corruption, and the way things have gone in this country, have also become part of the corrupt culture, by simply slipping a traffic official a small fee, in exchange for a larger fine. Yes, you, me and every other normal consumer or traffic offender also became part of the statistic of this culture at some stage of our lives.

On a positive note, there is a massive difference between being extorted of your money by a foreign official, basically telling you that he would make the rest of your trip in his country hell on earth, should you resist his calls for a “spot fine”, and the traffic officer next to the N4 that will only leave you with a fine for not wearing your seatbelt, if you don’t pay him or her something.

In a South African context, we are a hell of a way off the norm in Africa, where travelling is far more expensive, considering bribery, than the e-tolling system. Please don’t take my word for it, just take a trip to Maputo and see for yourself. I honestly don’t see a country like Mozambique ever overcoming this culture, and the same applies to most other African countries.

When you see this, you actually see the difference in S.A, where you get the idea that somewhere, we can actually beat this scourge. We just need to keep on doing what we’re doing, and keep educating and building a culture of accountability...and for that matter, a collective pride, and in a decade or two...who knows?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor
SARS and local municipalities it ...

SARS and local municipalities it is now time to tax Churches. Read more...

258 comments 6856 views
Submitted by
Response: Traditional initiation ...

As a proud citizen of the Western Cape, born and raised on the outskirts of Cape Town, I do not see the need to undergo initiation to become a man. Read more...

0 comments 810 views
Submitted by
Shaun Engel
Comedy on long

Ever wanted to be a comedian? Be on stage and make people laugh…well these guys do it for a living – If laughter is the best medicine after tonight I’m sorted for winter…flu for whaaaaat o_O Read more...

3 comments 147 views
Submitted by
Jaco Prinsloo
Everything converges in September...

There seems to be anticipation around the world that something big is going to happen in September this year. Read more...

63 comments 826 views
Submitted by
Jacques de Villiers
Initiation school on Table Mounta...

That sounds like a really wonderful idea. Even though the Xhosas were never traditionally in the Western Cape, the reality is that many of them are now and will forever be an integral part of it. Read more...

5 comments 1009 views
Submitted by
Digital Soigneurs
5 Things to Consider about your L...

Dont assume that your current Linkedin Profile Picture is great...that ID looking pic is average at most...nothing to be proud about.. Read more...

0 comments 884 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.