The nemesis of corruption in South Africa by Cayley Clifford
A recent report highlights the urgent need for South Africa to implement reforms to combat state capture, reverse institutional decay and restore faith in the constitution. The biggest obstacle is the ruling African National Congress, which is plagued by factional infighting.
JOHANNESBURG — On January 2, South Africans woke up to the news that the country’s parliament building was on fire. Days later came the release of an 800-page report detailing endemic corruption and poor governance in South Africa. Then, several glass doors and windows were smashed at the Constitutional Court. It’s been a worrying start to the year for a country still mourning the loss of its “moral compass”, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The report – the first of three expected from the Judicial Commission to Investigate State Capture Allegations, known as the Zondo Commission after its chairman, Associate Chief Justice Raymond Zondo – confirmed what the report said. t has long been suspected: state capture is rampant in South Africa. Systemic political corruption has, for example, benefited the influential Gupta family, as well as a range of enablers in the country’s civil service and ministries.
The report reveals patterns of abuse at almost every stage of public procurement. When professionals from ministries or public enterprises resisted, they were replaced by more docile civil servants. In the committee’s view, South Africa needs an independent anti-corruption agency that can perform its duties without fear or favour.
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