South Africans are understandably appalled by the corruption scourge, but ethical pleading and criminal justice interventions are not the full answer to a plague that threatens to consume our democracy. We must think more profoundly about a range of problematic institutional, legislative and strategic assumptions in our society.
Amid the Gauteng Covid-19 personal protection equipment (PPE) procurement scandal, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a 9 April Women's Day message. In his address, he announced a national strategic plan that includes measures to "promote women's economic inclusion". "We will do this," Ramaphosa told the nation, in the first place "by setting aside 40% of public procurement for women-owned businesses."
On the same day that Ramaphosa was delivering his Women's Day message, the Sunday Independent carried a front-page story on the Gauteng PPE scandal ("Ledla settles Diko's PPE bill"). The story claims to be sourced from an affidavit supplied to Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigators by Jonathan Maake, a director at Mediwaste.
Without going into every detail in a tangled story, as is now well known, AmaBhaca Chief Diko's company Royal Bhaca Projects was one of 75 original successful bidders for the Gauteng R2.2-billion PPE procurement. According to the Sunday Independent story, when...