Hon Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
Inkatha Freedom Party
Corruption in South Africa is endemic and has defiantly become synonymous with all aspects of public service. It has become a standard and accepted practice in this government. One might even say that it has been developed into an art form ably practiced by skilled proponents in government.
From those situated in the highest office, corruption has become the alpha and omega of their work. Everyone seems involved. Everyone wants to get paid-off for a favour here or turning a blind eye there! There is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as an unencumbered act of public service.
The days of the Rule of Law, Transparency, Constitutionalism, accountability of government departments, fitness by public officials to hold office have all been sacrificed on the altars of cronyism, nepotism, cadre deployment, maladministration, fraud and widespread corruption, and it is getting worse; it is increasing like a cancer seeking to destroy its host body, in our case, if left unchecked, will destroy South Africa.
In January this year it was estimated by the Institute of Internal Auditors that South Africa had lost R700 Billion to corruption over the last 20 years.
How different would South Africa be today had that 700 Billion rand been channelled into proper provision of public service channels. How many citizens now living in informal housing settlements would have proper homes? How many poor students could have furthered their education? How many roads would have been built? The list of service delivery achievements could have been reached is endless.
The Honourable President stated in January this year that “South Africa has a strong anti-corruption architecture” and that “with co-operation between government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and political parties, we will be able to make a difference in eradicating corruption which is what our people expect of us”
This is very rich coming from the very man at whose behest the Scorpions met their demise. Even richer coming from the very man who has through his own non-accountability has allowed corruption to become a culture of his administration.
If the President is serious about fighting corruption he should lead by example and walk the talk all the way to court.
In June a report by the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index found that South Africa scored low in its capacity to impose sanctions for official government misconduct.
Corruption must be rooted out at its source, a line in the sand must be drawn; this far and no further. Government if serious about the eradication of corruption must take a long hard look at itself. Chapter 9 Institutions such as the Public Protector should be supported and not vilified and attacked.
The Rule of law and accountability over public funds and their administration must be restored. We have the laws and the times and circumstances are now upon us to implement without fear, favour or compromise.
I thank you.
Hon M Hlengwa, MP
Contact: 076 521 3221