Where corruption began...
Before I start my article let’s get the following out of the way; the state of corruption in this country and under the ANC’s watch is on an unacceptable level. All those guilty of same should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. All of them. There is nothing standing in the way of a progress of any country than corruption. My article however poses the question where corruption started and it aims to disprove the popular myth that it started when the ANC took over the country. I know, with no tertiary education I am not as educated as most commentators on this site. I may not be as articulate as most of you, but that per se should not invalidate my opinion, facts to the contrary should.
For the sake of this article and for the sake of objectivity, let us for a moment forget about the constitutional injustices of apartheid, we have listened to arguments on the latter ad nauseam and I do not want to bore you with another argument on how inhumane apartheid was. I do however want to tender the following proposition, to wit that the apartheid government was just as corrupt, no even more so than the ANC government. I would like to further my proposition by adding that the idea that the save for the injustices referred to in the beginning of this paragraph, that the apartheid government was competent is a popular myth. I cannot help myself, I need to quote the following from Eldrid Jones, "Legends die hard in the popular mind, while facts tend to languish in books". I believe that the latter quote may be the reason why some of us would not know some of the facts I will use in support of my argument.
I again tender my proposition as in the paragraph above, the apartheid government was just as corrupt, no even more so than the ANC government. I believe that my argument will be best articulated in a “Chappie wrapper, Did you know” – style. So here goes, but a few example:
· Did you know that in 1984, Progressive Federal Party leader Frederik van Zyl Slabbert had received documents concerning oil sales to South Africa, allegedly reflecting corruption in the oil trade? These documents were handed to the then President PW Botha, but nothing came of it. Sounds familiar? To date nobody made noise about that.
· Can you remember the 1978 murders of Robert and Cora Smit? To date there are people who will argue that they were silenced because they stumbled on secret overseas bank accounts that were leaked to the apartheid elite. If you read the investigations done by the Rand Daily Mail at that time, you will note that the erstwhile Minister of Finance Mr. Nico Diederichs had links to the said European accounts. Whatever came of this?
· Now, one of the biggest modern day corruption scandals in South Africa is the arms deal. Did you know that this was not the first time South Africa was implicated in such a scandal? You have no knowledge of the about R378bn spent to fund secret defence projects and procure weapons? All of this happened with limited oversight from the then auditor-general. Unlike today, this was never subjected to public scrutiny.
· Did you also know that contrary to the popular myth criminals such as Radovan Krejcir is not the first international criminals who wanted to call South Africa their home? In fact did you know that back in 1993 FW de Klerk’s cabinet approved a new residence permit for someone like Vito Palazzolo (this guy had huge ties with Italian organised crime organisations), subsequent to a National Party member being convicted in 1990 for improperly securing a residence for Mr Palazzolo. You did not know that, did you?
· Did you know that nearly 100,000 elephants were allegedly slaughtered during the civil wars in Angola and Mozambique? This appeared to benefit the leadership of Unita and possibly a small group of senior SADF officials. The post-1994 Kumbleben commission of inquiry found substantial proof of SADF involvement through a front company, but no action was taken.
· Did you know that the apartheid death squads were allocated something like R116m? Expenditure of about R45m was found to be improperly authorised with little consequence.
The above is just some facts for those who would like to believe that in 1994, a beast of corruption was awaken. These are few examples, which some of us conveniently forget and some may not even have known. That does not mean that it never occurred, it was just very well covered up. If news24 publish this, I would love to see your level headed replies to the above allegations. Whatever happened to the public protectors investigations in the apartheid looters claims? Like in the case above, nothing?
I want Pres Zuma to stand trial for allegations against him, I concede as I did in the beginning that corruption in South Africa should be ended and that it is wrong. I do so, with the sincere hope that those on this site who like to romanticise apartheid as an efficient regime will also come to realise that their idea of what apartheid was, is and always was a MYTH.