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Corruption in South Africa: The Endemic Pandemic

14 April 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath

2021 UFS Thought-Leader Webinar Series 
PRESENTS
a webinar on 
CORRUPTION IN SOUTH AFRICA: THE ENDEMIC PANDEMIC
As a public higher-education institution in South Africa with a responsibility to contribute to public discourse, the University of the Free State (UFS) will be presenting the webinar as part of the Free State Literature Festival’s online initiative, VrySpraak-digitaal. The aim of the webinar series is to discuss issues facing South Africa by engaging experts at the university and in South Africa. Some of the topics for 2021 include, among others, reimagining universities for student success; corruption; local elections, the state of business – particularly in the Free State. 
In 2020, the webinar series saw the successful participation of leading experts engaging on COVID-19 and the crisis facing the country socially, economically, and politically. This year, in lieu of the Free State Arts Festival, the UFS will present the webinar virtually over a period of five months. 

Second webinar presented on 4 May 2021
The second webinar for 2021 forms part of the UFS Thought-Leader Series, which is in its fourth year running. The scourge of corruption in South Africa has become endemic at all levels of the state and has rapidly accelerated the nation’s descent from a position of credibility that it once occupied during the era of Nelson Mandela. The economy is damaged; many state-owned enterprises are rendered dysfunctional, while self-enrichment by some political party cadres continues unabated at the peril of stark poverty and deepening inequality of the broader population. Are there grounds for optimism for South Africans who have been deeply wounded by the state of the nation? 

Date: Tuesday 4 May 2021

Topic:  Corruption in South Africa: the endemic pandemic Time: 12:30-14:00

RSVP: Alicia Pienaar, pienaaran1@ufs.ac.za by 2 May 2021 

Facilitator:
Prof Francis PetersenRector and Vice-Chancellor, UFS

Panellists:
Adv Paul HoffmanDirector, Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa Campaigning as Accountability Now 
Justice Dennis DavisJudge at the High Court of Cape Town and Judge President of the Competition Appeal Court 
Adv Ouma Rabaji-RasethabaDeputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, National Prosecuting Authority
Prof John Mubangizi Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State

Bios of speakers:


Adv Paul HoffmanAdvocate Paul Hoffman SC, a native of Johannesburg and a Wits graduate, practised law at the sidebar from 1975 to 1980 and at the Cape bar from 1980 to 2006. He took silk in 1995 and acted on the Cape bench at the invitation of three successive judge presidents. After retiring from the bar, he was founding director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, and in 2009 co-founder of Accountability Now – both NGOs that promote constitutionalism. He is best known for his work on the irregularities in the arms deals, the unconstitutionality of the Hawks, and the bread cartel case in which a general class action was developed by the courts. He is the author of many articles and one book, Confronting the Corrupt, published by Tafelberg.

Justice Dennis DavisJudge Dennis Davis was educated at the Herzlia School and the Universities of Cape Town and Cambridge. He is presently judge of the High Court of Cape Town (since 1998) and Judge President of the Competition Appeal Court (since February 2000). He is honorary professor at the Universities of Cape Town, the Western Cape, and Wits. He is also Chair of the Davis Tax Committee and was one of the drafters of the Competition Act 1998 and the Companies Act 2008. He authored 11 books and held visiting professorial posts at the universities of Toronto, Melbourne, Harvard, Florida Brown, Georgetown and New York University. 

Adv Ouma Rabaji-RasethabaAdvocate Ouma Rabaji-Rasethaba currently serves as the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions responsible for the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) within the National Prosecuting Authority. She is the national co-ordinator of the anti-corruption strategic objective in the NPA (coordinating priorities for the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, Investigating Directorate, and Asset Forfeiture Unit within the NPA). Adv Rabaji was admitted as an attorney in 1990, and later as an advocate of the High Court in 1996. She was previously Special Director of the AFU during its formative years, after which she joined the corporate sector in the area of governance and risk, followed by the bar, and practising as an advocate before re-joining the AFU in 2020.

Prof John MubangiziProf John Mubangizi is Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State. He has been full professor for more than 16 years. From 2005 to 2007, he served as Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). After that, he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies at UKZN for 10 years. Rated as an established researcher by the National Research Foundation, Prof Mubangizi is widely published, with more than 70 publications to his name – most in SAPSE-accredited peer-reviewed journals – as well as a book titled The Protection of Human Rights in South Africa: A Legal and Practical Guide, which is used by scholars, practitioners, and students of human rights law in South Africa. He has also presented more than 40 academic papers at international conferences.  Prof Mubangizi is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and has served as member and adviser to the ASSAf Council. He was also Chairperson of the Higher Education Quality Committee of South Africa and member of the Council on Higher Education. He also serves on various committees and in different ad hoc positions at institutional, national, and international levels.

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