17 February 2019

South Africa: Electing for Change - Corruption, Polls and the Need for Greater Accountability

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During his State of the Nation Address, Cyril Ramaphosa took a strong anti-corruption stance, promising to establish a special unit within the NPA to deal with priority prosecutions arising from the Zondo Commission and other commissions of inquiry. While these are welcome promises, prompt and meaningful action is necessary if voter concerns are to be respected in the upcoming general elections.

South Africans are appalled by the corruption allegations emerging from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Bosasa's alleged systematic and widespread corrupt conduct only adds salt to our Gupta- and Nkandla-inflicted wounds, and the long-untreated wounds arising from the Shaik-related corruption charges against Jacob Zuma and the arms deal cover-up.

Our collective faith in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights and in our democratic system has been shaken, as has our fragile trust in our public representatives and public servants. This is giving space to mutual suspicion and extremists on all sides who exploit the racial and class divides that are compounded by corruption.

Taxpayers legitimately complain of the waste, misappropriation and blatant theft of their hard-earned contributions to what was supposed to be a national effort to lift our new nation out of the depths...

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