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Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi testifies at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown on January 18, 2018 in Johannesburg. (Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)
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National security combines economic, political, environmental, health, nutritional, community and personal securities. The state has an obligation to follow the dictates of the constitution that guarantees all these securities, writes Evangelos Mantzaris.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi's testimony at the Zondo Commission
hearings into state capture has once again illustrated how far and wide the tentacles
of corruption have spread.
newspapers have reported on Bosasa in the past, the full extent of the
corruption is now being laid bare. What Agrizzi's revelations also showed is
how corrupt acts take a wide variety of combinations and forms with devastating,
even dilapidating effects on the lives of billions of people throughout the
globe, especially the most vulnerable.
Africa we have seen how this has played out over the years. Despite the efforts
of different gatekeepers of transparency, accountability and honesty,
corruption and corruption acts persist.
READ: Is this why Bosasa was never prosecuted?
is a scourge that pervades and transverses both the public and private sectors.
It de-legitimises the state and its apparatuses at all levels of operations
amongst communities, leads to distrust and denigrates local government, the
last hope of the marginalised communities for service delivery.
massive "stay away" of registered voters in the 2016 municipal
elections has shown that the support that flows from the people to their
beloved ruling party has dissipated. Perpetual instability is the effect.
Today, rural and urban communities are still suffering the severe indignities
inherited by the apartheid regime despite the efforts of the government to
remedy them at all societal levels.
is because corruption leads to ineffective utilisation of state resources aimed
at providing the essential conditions and services to communities, thus denying
them the possibility of realising their full potential. Corruption is
instrumental in denying the most deserving sections of the population the right
to effective and efficient health care, education, employment opportunities,
housing, roads, and security.
essential services continue to elude millions of South Africans, especially the
poor, the marginalised and the rural masses. A sad and endless reality not
because of lack of resources, but because government's capacity to provide such
services and deliverables has been greatly affected by corruption.
almost reached a point where corruption can been regarded as a national threat.
It has become a national threat because of the government's inability to detect
it, stop it and put the culprits where they belong.
national threat" is a reality that does not allow a state the capacity to promote
the pursuit and realisation of the fundamental needs and vital interests of
people and society. Put simply, national security combines economic, political,
environmental, health, nutritional, community, and personal securities.
state has a moral and political obligation to follow the dictates of the
existing constitution that guarantees that all these securities will be
fulfilled. Eliminating corruption at all levels of society is a key
prerequisite for this fulfilment to remain a tangible reality.
comprehensive legislation and a number of efficient organs of the state, but
the sad reality is that the weaknesses of the South African state in the
anti-corruption terrain in terms of strategies and are too visible to be
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is evident that the vast majority of state institutions do not comprehend or
plan and implement defensive, offensive measures and actions, many of which are
found in the legislation, as well as rules and regulations released by the
Treasury, the Auditor General, the Public Service Commission, national government
departments and the leadership of a number of provincial governments. Merely
acknowledging that corruption exists will not eradicate it.
intriguing variety of issues such as power relations and dynamics at all layers
of the state machinery, where personal and family financial interests are
underlined by greed, avarice coupled with strategic and tactical moves for
betraying the will of the people, undermine the government's capacity in
resource allocation and service delivery. Communities can see, feel and
describe these realities and their anger, frustration and disillusionment result
in protest actions.
is never too late to re-ignite the struggle (not fight) against corruption
going beyond commissions of inquiry,
forensic investigations, plotting in "think tanks" in all ministries and/or
rejuvenating existing structures and talk shops. For the struggle to succeed
(after 2019 that is, because at present such initiatives might "create
instabilities"), it needs to rise to new levels and demands strategic and
comprehensive arrangements and implementable initiatives that are
multi-dimensional like the scourge.
cycle means that research, training and investigation are needed in combatting
corruption and how to achieve it. It is through such initiatives that guidance
and leadership are the foundations of the planning and implementation of
defensive and offensive strategies, mechanisms and measures. Prevention,
detection and punishment result through these mechanisms.
Overall, corruption cannot be eliminated without a strong understanding and knowledge of its sociological, economic and political roots. Knowledge, understanding and
strict enforcement of solid organisational systems can only be achieved through
ethical behaviour and honest and transparent leadership.
elements cannot flourish and be implemented without strong political will,
effective law enforcement, efficient and corruption-free judiciary and an
independent and active civil society.
Evangelos Mantzaris is an extraordinary professor and senior researcher at the
Anti-Corruption Centre for Education and Research at Stellenbosch University
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
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