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The most successful crime syndicate of the century

07 June 2012, 12:14

The most successful crime syndicate of the century

A couple of months ago the editor of the Sunday Times declared that the biggest threat to South Africa is mediocrity.  Is it mediocrity that causes us to allow the most successful crime syndicate to control us?

The definition of a crime syndicate is as follows:


“In order for a criminal organization to prosper, some degree of support is required from the society in which it lives. Thus, it is often necessary to corrupt some of its respected members, which is most commonly achieved through bribery, blackmail, and the establishment of symbiotic relationships with legitimate businesses. People in the judiciary, police forces, and legislature are especially targeted for control by organized crime via bribes, threats, or a combination.”

South Africa: Institute for Security Studies

“Organised crime is a significant and planned criminal activity, which involves several persons acting jointly, or at least with a common purpose, to commit a crime or a series of crimes, motivated by the prospect of direct or indirect material benefit.”

South Africa: S. G. Lebeya

“Organised crime is any serious crime which is systematically and persistently committed on a continuous basis or determinate period by a consciously concerted organised criminal group of two or more persons or a criminal enterprise, in pursuit of an undue financial or other material benefit.” (Lebeya, 2007: 17, 126)

“Any group having a corporate structure whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, often surviving on fear and corruption.” (Paul Nesbitt, Head of Organized Crime Group, cit. in Bresler 1993, 319)

United Nations

"Organized crime is understood to be the large-scale and complex criminal activity carried on by groups of persons, however loosely or tightly organized, for the enrichment of those participating and at the expense of the community and its members. It is frequently accomplished through ruthless disregard of any law, including offences against the person, and frequently in connexion with political corruption. (United Nations 1975, 8)”

The South African experience vis-à-vis a crime syndicate.

So which grouping in South Africa fits the above definitions?

Who has the power to appoint and protect corrupt police chiefs and judges, disregarding the constitution and the law of the land?

Who is not disturbed and does not lose a heartbeat when their corrupt and criminal police chief is removed; just replace him with the next one who can immediately channel money into the pockets of other syndicate members?  When that one was forced to step aside, the syndicate was grooming the next police general, after charges of murder and corruption have been withdrawn against him, to be the next chief of police?

Who does remove effective measures and institutions that were a thorn in the sides of its boss and other members of the syndicate?  Who removed the effective Scorpions and replaced them with a well-controlled institution, manned by their own loyal syndicate members that was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court and still gets away with it? 

Who can effectively ignore and disregard with contempt the numerous damning reports, court orders and judicial enquiries that dare to declare the actions of the syndicate’s members as corrupt, unconstitutional and/or criminal? Who has the power to; very successfully, just kill those reports with silence? 

Who can enrich their own syndicate members through corrupt means using well-meant measures like BEE and preferential tender processes?  Who entices or fall prey to and has the symbiotic relationship with rich money families, who can take their family members to the heights of money, power and ruthless business practices, fleecing the country’s national assets?

Who can with the orchestrated baying of its dogs, prepare the populace for the total procurement of the national assets for its members in the name of nationalisation?

Who can promote those that try everything in their power and beyond to protect their corrupt boss, corrupt chiefs of police, judges and others from prosecution and remove and demote those that try to uphold the law, even for such a trivial act as stopping the car of a syndicate member for floating the laws of the road?

Who has become so brazen and have the chutzpah to try and use the money (to the tune of R1m per month) of those citizens that it exploits, in order to convince them that the syndicate is in effect their savior, or is it just insult to injury?  (They are still working on this one!)

Is this organization the most successful crime syndicate of modern times?  Does its actions fit the definition of a crime syndicate?

Are we going to allow George Orwell’s 1984 to materialize in our life time?

Or is there some civil society association that wants to charge this syndicate for its crimes?  All the evidence is already gathered and recorded.

Will that be at the International Tribunal for Crimes against Its People and the Stripping of its Country’s assets? 

Can we survive mediocrity?

Clive Scholtz

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