What Madonsela thinks we can do to give corruption the deathblow

2018-05-29 16:36

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Eradicating inequality and collaboration – these were the two elements required to give corruption the deathblow, according to former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

"We're riding the crest of hope at the moment in the country," Madonsela, these days a lecturer at Stellenbosch University and recently appointed to the board of global corruption busters Transparency International, told a stakeholder engagement organised by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in Cape Town on Tuesday.

"We are seeing an end to impunity," she said.

According to Madonsela, one of the things that depressed South Africans the last few years was "seeing that some get away with anything".

"We are riding the crest of hope because we are seeing that accountability has dawned," she said. "I've seen as Public Protector, that no matter how dark the night is, the dawn always comes."

There was, however, a "but" from Madonsela: "But we haven't seen the end of it."

State capture subdued

She warned that state capture had been subdued but had not ended.

She also said the SIU had thrown its hat in the ring to fight corruption and said "Thuma Mina" (Send me), again using the parlance of the Ramaphosa era.

"But what about the rest of us?"

She said corruption thrived through collusion, and the answer in fighting it was for anti-corruption entities to collaborate.

"We are riding the crest of hope, but we can fall if we're divided," she warned.

She also related an Ethiopian saying: "When spider webs connect, they can even tie up a lion."

SA - the most unequal society

She referred to the World Bank's recent report that rated South Africa as the most unequal society.

Madonsela said a part of preventing corruption was the advancement of social justice.

"We can't end corruption without ending poverty," she said.

According to Madonsela, some people were dragged into state capture because of need. 

She said whistleblowers should be protected.

Earlier, Western Cape premier Helen Zille said being investigated by Madonsela was "not a pleasant experience", but these days they only talk about their grandchildren.

Its all about accountability

"Democracy is only as strong as the accountability to which the voters hold government to account," said Zille, who completely ignored her prepared speech.

"Fighting corruption depends on voters who will not tolerate it."

She predicted that former president Jacob Zuma would say at his upcoming corruption trial that his actions were necessary for the advancement of black economic empowerment and warned that we must be careful that legislation for BEE doesn't become a "fig leaf" for corruption. 

"We must look at laws which legalise corruption," said Zille.

She said corruption enriched a small elite at a cost to the poor, the antithesis of black economic empowerment. 

Head of the SIU Andy Mothibi said he guaranteed that they would do their investigation into the controversial Trillion deal without fear, favour or prejudice.

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Read more on:    thuli madonsela  |  corruption

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