Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corruption - the root of all evil

I have long been of the opinion that excessive corruption is the root of most
ills in society. Be it from drug dealing, bribery or using political connections
for favours - the illegal lining of pockets is a despicable evil. It depletes
the treasury of much needed development funding and shackles the economy. I must
therefore join the chorus of approval for the recent sentence handed down to our
corrupt former Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi. The fact that our Top Cop was
accepting bribes from drug lords made his greed even more despicable. His job
was to protect the people of this country - and he was well paid to do so. Under
his stewardship the police failed to make any impression on any level of crime.
Instead, he betrayed the weakest, propping up villians who make fortunes by
destroying vulnerable lives. Jail must be extremely unpleasant. However, it is
mild in comparison to the misery of the families whose lives he has colluded in
destroying - because that's what it amounts to when you collude with drug

At last we have a high profile villian brought to justice. Unfortunately, it
is just the tip of the iceberg, and the amounts of money in this case were
modest compared to the vast sums that are being pilfered as I write. Let's not
discuss what this trial has cost you and I, the taxpayer. At least weekly, a
fresh case of wasteful expenditure, questionable tenders or favours for cronies
is being exposed by our vigilant media - whom the government is now trying to
muzzle with their new Protection of Information Bill. Unless more Jackie Selebis
are brought to book, the economic growth of our beautiful country and the
alleviation of the poor's suffering will remain stunted.

It is ironic that prior to President Jacob Zuma's election as president of
South Africa, leaked documents to the press indicating that intelligence
services were engaging in illegal phone tapping led to charges of corruption
being dropped against him. How different may things have been were this proposed
legislation in place at that time? Yet it is the very same freedom that got him
off the hook that he now seeks to curtail.

Imperfect as democracy is, in order to claim to be one, a country needs a
free press and transparent government. No less.

[Herewith endeth the rant]

Ciao, Paul.

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