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For us as a country to heal, we need to be able to admit that we are sick.
The truth is that corruption is fast becoming a way of life – part and parcel of societal normality. We are no longer shocked by it.
But corrupt behaviour is now 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.And corruption is no longer just a pastime of government officials: private business has also come into the fray.
We see MDs greasing palms of inspectors, union representatives paid by bosses to influence workers into conceding their rights. You see, this is clearly not just an ANC problem. Remember J Arthur Brown of Fidentia? That was not only theft of orphans’ and widows’ money, but was also the very essence of corruption.
The factory owner and businessman who cheats his workers of their provident funds and basic benefits – dress it up as you may – is corrupt. You cannot be selective on when and how to use the word. It is what it is.
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If employers are stealing from their employees, people who break their backs to meet their everyday needs, how can the employer, who is on different wage bracket, higher pay scale, not expect the same employee to steal from him as they try to make ends meet? If the employer steals from workers, it is overlooked.
If the employee steals, they are dismissed – double standards? Brown needed a Ferrari, the widows needed money. Let us weigh what’s more important. Daily, motorists bribe traffic officials, others are fast-tracked on housing lists, driving licences are handed out like sweets.
Corruption rules. We are lying to ourselves saying just the government suffers from this illness. The countryis infected. If we cannot stop the brown envelope from being pushed among our own peers, we cannot root out graft.
Up until we own up, government will keep on publishing reports, labelling it state capture – costing the taxpayer millions.