CORRUPTION: Counteracting Transformation Efforts

2014-04-06 19:47

Although I do not condone corruption and lack of service delivery, we need to be fair, and constructive in our criticism and not just politically correct.

Unfortunately, there are many individuals who are exploiting the system for their personal aggrandisement but, regrettably, this is a trend worldwide and in most countries some government officials dip their fingers in the “cookie jar”.

Maladministration, fraud, embezzlement or different forms of financial misconduct does not only damage or have a negative impact on one specific politician or department but it affects government as a whole.

Dave Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, says that every successive instance of corruption, of which Nkandla is a clear example, tears away at the institutional fabric that holds our country together.

President Jacoub Zuma cannot just make a simple statement that he “never noticed nor approved of the R246 million upgrades to his property. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found procurement rules had been broken and the president had unduly benefited from the improvements.

The president should carefully study the report and the recommended implementation and then carry out the necessary intervention measures. It is not in the interest of the country to silence her findings. The president has an obligation by our constitution to account and respond to the findings. The Public Protector is a state organ in terms of South Africa’s Constitution.

Similarly, why are we forgetting the crimes of corruption involving the apartheid era elite?

According to an article, before Apartheid collapsed, billions of public funds were “invested” by the former governor of the Reserve Bank in “lifeboats” to failing Apartheid era banks.

In highlighting the lifeboats to failing banks, it does not mean that it is the only example of apartheid-era corruption, I am quite sure there were plenty other crimes of surreptitious looting of state funds.

In this regard, I concur with Thobani Hgqulunga, a reporter at The Witness, that if we are serious about slaying the beast of corruption, we need to condemn private and government –sector corruption equally.

Furthermore, while the upper middle- class is complaining about pot holes, garbage collection and load shedding, there are millions of South Africans living in the most extreme disadvantageous conditions.

Some of them don’t even have proper houses or roads to travel to work or School.

Someone once said: “Rich people walk to digest their food and poor people walk to find food.”

While we seriously lack ethical leadership across the board in South Africa, our government has made remarkable progress in many spheres since becoming a fully-fledged democracy in 1994.

It is time ordinary people stand up and stop the continuation and culture of corruption, nepotism and other dishonest crimes that has affected our governments and private sectors over the past many decades.

Dishonesty is a growing threat to our country and can only be curtailed by means of community vigilance and exposure of the culprits.

Active communities sustain transformation and good governance, reduce law-breaking and criminal activities.

Every effort should be made to empower citizens and to maintain and improve structures that promote ethical conscious leaders, service delivery and prevent corruption and other crimes.

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