South Africa is not a corrupt country thanks to a multi-pronged approach to promoting good governance, a sound constitutional and legal framework and an arsenal of anti-corruption safeguards.
This is according to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who was speaking at the Crime Stoppers International Conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.
“I am often asked the question: Is South Africa a corrupt country? My response is always: No, we are certainly not a corrupt country. Like many other nations, we are a country that has a problem of corruption,” she said.
Corruption was a societal rather than a governmental problem.
To succeed against corruption and other crimes, the issue of impunity needed to be addressed.
“If criminals know they can play the system to evade accountability, more will do the same, and before we realise what’s happening the rule of law will be undermined.”
Using the conference’s theme, “It’s time for change,” Madonsela said it was time to take a hard-line approach towards a number of things.
The Constitution and rule of law needed to be respected and accountability enforced.
Small acts of corruption should not be ignored, she said.
“Shun and deal with retail or small acts of corruption as it fosters a culture of acceptance of wrong.”
Corruption needed to be reported where ever it surfaced and “the integrity sector” needed to work more collaboratively.
Madonsela said it was crucial that whistle-blowers were protected as they were part of the solution to fighting corruption. SAPA