SA at corruption ‘tipping point’ – Madonsela

2012-04-03 14:45

South Africa is at a “tipping point” in its battle against “endemic” corruption, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has said.

If corruption were not decisively dealt with it had the potential to “distort the economy and derail democracy”, she said at the International Winelands Conference in Stellenbosch today.

“We are at a tipping point and [former president Nelson Mandela’s] warning that ‘our hope for the future depends also on our resolution as a nation in dealing with the scourge of corruption’, remains valid,” Madonsela said.

“If we don’t deal with corruption decisively it will not only impact on good governance, but has the potential to distort our economy and to derail democracy.”

Corruption was “endemic in our country both in the public and private sectors”.

Madonsela said South Africa needed selfless leadership and an end to impunity in its battle against maladministration and corruption.

Anti-corruption and anti-maladministration efforts would be useless while South Africa had “protected people” or “holy cows”, she said.

“Ending impunity is a must, otherwise all anti-corruption and anti-maladministration efforts are useless,” she said.

“There shouldn’t be protected people or holy cows.”

She said those warning about “the Tunisian option”, where the government was overthrown after a public revolt, were not far off if corruption was not dealt with.

Corruption was the biggest factor undermining trust between the state and citizens, in addition to derailing service delivery.

She said the belief at the protectorate was that corruption and maladministration were generally intertwined and that service failure was often a result of corruption.

“We believe that public accountability is critical for good governance and effective combating of corruption,” Madonsela said.

It was important to strengthen whistle-blower protection and usage, while media freedom was also important.

“Without transparency, accountability is impossible. In this regard it’s important to strengthen our whistle-blower protection and usage. Media freedom is also important.”

Improperly awarded RDP houses were an example of service failure which came about as a result of corruption.

One old man had mentioned to her that public lists of who received RDP homes and when they applied for them were part of the solution.

She said she agreed and “perhaps” the same should be done in all government contracts and in grants.

“If you strike at maladministration, you score a major blow against corruption,” she said.

“Ultimately, we need selfless, committed and unwavering leadership.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.