Show no mercy for fraudsters

South Africa is held up the world over as a model of peaceful transition from a (racist) dictatorship to a democracy.

South Africa is held up the world over as a model of peaceful transition from a (racist) dictatorship to a democracy.

This would not have been possible but for the willingness of the black majority to compromise and negotiate a political settlement.

This spirit of accommodation inspired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which provided a platform for those who committed atrocities, either defending or fighting apartheid, to acknowledge their mistakes and wipe the slate clean.

Thus, many people who would have been jailed were pardoned and lead productive lives with clear consciences.

This spirit of accommodation has been followed through in several amnesties, such as the ones granted to tax dodgers.

We support such creative ways of solving complex problems. But we would like to sound a word of warning against the tendency to substitute justice for forgiveness.

We say this in the light of the increasing noises suggesting that our nation circumvent the cause of justice for the benefit of the scoundrels in the corrupt arms deal.

It is our considered view, and that of the overwhelming majority of our readers, that the law should be allowed to take its course.

Everybody who either paid or took a bribe in the arms deal must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law - like Tony Yengeni and Shabir Shaik.

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