For us as a country to heal a spreading pandemic, we need to be able to admit that we, as active members of society, are sick.
The truth is that corruption in South Africa is fast becoming a way of life. It has become part and parcel of societal normality.
We are now no longer wowed and shocked by the prevalence of corruption but we have to now make peace and 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 get comfortable in the league of the have nots. Corruption in South Africa is no longer just a past time for government. Private business has also entered the fray.
We see MDs greasing palms of inspectors, union representatives paid by bosses to influence workers into conceding their rights, bargaining councils paid to turn a blind eye to the ill treatment of workers dependent on them for the preservation of their rights.
Corruption is rife even in the private and incorruptible sector.
You see, this is clearly not just an ANC problem.
Remember Arthur J Brown of Fidentia notoriety. That was not only theft of orphans’ and widows’ money, it was the very essence of corruption.
The factory owner and businessperson who cheats his workers of their provident funds and basic benefits – dress it up as you may, that is still corruption.
An individual cannot be selective on when and how to use the word. It is what it is, every time.
If employers are stealing from their employees, people who break their backs to meet their everyday needs, put food on their tables and claw their way out of poverty, sometimes on minimum wage, how can the employer who is on a higher pay scale not expect the same employee to turn around and steal from him as they try to make ends meet?
If the employer steals from workers, it is overlooked. Employees who steal are dismissed. Double standards, anyone?
If we cannot stop the brown envelope from being pushed amongst our peers, stopping strangers we have elected into positions of authority will be a battle that’s going to be hard to overcome.