In order for us to heal, we need to admit that we are a sick society. The truth is that corruption is fast becoming a way of life. We are no longer shocked by scandals but we have to adjust our expectations that corrupt behaviour is how fast money is made and how jobs, resources, houses and business deals are secured.
If you are not willing to play that game, you better start getting comfortable in the league of the have-nots.
Corruption is no longer just a pastime activity for government officials, business people have also come into the party. This is not just an ANC problem. The factory owner or businessman who cheats his workers of their provident funds and benefits, that too is still corruption. If the employer steals from their workers, it is overlooked.
But when an employee steals from their boss, they are dismissed – double standards anyone?
This also brings to mind convicted fraudster Arthur J Brown who stole from widows and orphans. I guess in Brown’s mind, a Ferrari outweighed bread and school fees. So he stole from those who desperately needed the money that was rightfully theirs.
On a daily basis, motorists bribe traffic officers, others are fast-tracked on housing lists, driving licences are handed out like sweets at a funfair, all through corrupt means. You are not equipped to survive living in South Africa until you can bribe your way through every situation.
We are lying to ourselves if we keep saying since the government suffers from this illness, the country as a whole is infected. If we cannot root out the problem on mundane daily activities, it will be near impossible to hold government to account because government is only mirroring what our society is.
I went cold as I read of a South African Police Service informant who pleaded for protection as she exposed the alleged misdeeds of the police minister … how far up has the rot gone in this country?
If we cannot stop the brown envelope from being pushed among our own peers, then stopping strangers we have elected into positions of authority will be a battle that’s going to be very hard to overcome.