The corrupt will only be deterred by the sure knowledge that they will be identified, prosecuted, convicted and punished
23 September 2022 – 17:38
“We are not going to investigate and prosecute our way out of corruption,” said NPA boss Shamila Batohi. She couldn’t be more wrong.
The constitution requires the police to prevent and combat crime, and the agency she heads is required to prosecute crime. Corruption is a crime. Parliament has passed the Prevention & combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA), which the criminal justice administration must enforce.
The Constitutional Court envisages that SA “needs an agency dedicated to the containment and eventual eradication of … corruption”.
Prof Robert Rotberg, author of The Corruption Cure, warns that kleptocrats “turn sometime democracies into criminal states that plunder national resources and national patrimonies, depriving citizens of their rights, tax revenues and their ability to determine policy priorities”.
Corrupt perversion of the public procurement of goods and services is the main form of corruption that infects the body politic in SA that greylisting and state failure loom.
The anti-corruption machinery of state we have was configured by the Zuma administration to facilitate state-capture efforts. The NPA is gutted, dysfunctional and infested with saboteurs who keep kleptocrats from prosecution.
The police are corrupt; the Hawks has never landed a “big fish”. Governance in SA is crippled by the greed with impunity present in municipalities, provincial administrations and the national cabinet.
The corrupt are best deterred by the sure knowledge that they will be identified, prosecuted and convicted. They are encouraged by the type of statement Batohi made.
Accountability Now suggests a “best practice” reform to better enable the state to combat serious corruption. Setting up a new independent body of specialists who are properly resourced will deter those considering corruption and strike terror in the hearts of those who are corrupt.
The PRECCA expresses the will of the people. It ought not be a dead letter.
Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now