The Oxford Dictionary defines corruption as “dishonesty” or
“illegal behaviour”. Full stop. It ends there.
The results of Police Minister Bheki Cele’s recent dissection of the word are less flattering.
However, it piercingly removes the scabs of the plague’s recuperating laceration.
“Corruption kills the progress of communities,” an animated Minister Cele told delegates at the recent National Summit on Crime and Violence Prevention in Boksburg,Gauteng.
Intensely sobering was that the statement was met with a deafening silence in the second or two while he caught his breath.
Government has prioritised the scourge of corruption, adopting a zero-tolerance approach in both the public and private sectors.
Corruption is deemed a societal problem to be fought collectively.
The pandemic of fraud and corruption continues to be a source of trepidation to the country’s development prospects,
but government’s recent interventions have sparked optimism that the tide will gradually turn.
Stopping the rot Having taken stock of this harsh reality, government has undertaken a series of interventions in an effort to stop the rot.
The Anti-corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee and the Anti-corruption Task Team have developed a broad framework to deal with corruption and are in the process of finalising the development of an holistic Anti-corruption Strategy.
Government’s arsenal to combat corruption includes the adoption of a Code of Conduct for the Public Service.
Additionally, government established specialised anti-corruption units such as the SAPS Organised Crime Unit, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks),
the National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Financial Intelligence Centre.
These efforts are bolstered by Specialised Commercial Crime Courts as well as the creation of the national and sectoral anticorruption hotlines.
“We have corruption as a disease,” Minister Cele lamented.
“Nobody can now deny that some of us in South Africa are corrupt – very corrupt. It’s not just police as some of us would want us to believe.
[This] is one area in which the President has made a serious call.”
Corruption Watch’s 2018 Analysis of Corruption Trend (ACT)
Report says it continues to receive thousands of complaints from the public with harrowing experiences.
The non-profit organisation, working to fight corruption in South Africa, received 2 500 complaints according to its 2018 report.
The matters ranged from recruitment to procurement in schools, police stations and municipalities, among others.
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