Govt must show way

CORRUPTION is no joke. It is the single greatest threat to our democracy. Fighting it with all we have is therefore as necessary as the fight forfreedom itself.

CORRUPTION is no joke. It is the single greatest threat to our democracy. Fighting it with all we have is therefore as necessary as the fight forfreedom itself.

The line between a functioning, prosperous democracy and a failed state is thin. Institutionalised corruption obliterates whatever of that line there might be.

That is why we hope the government's announcement, that it will set up an interministerial committee to investigate and make recommendations on steps to be taken to fight this scourge, is not just politicalposturing.

The country's leaders have for long been promising to end corruption. Still many, including big name politicians and officials, have had their names attached to scandals without anything happening to them.

While the public tends to focus on big-ticket corruption in government, a good place to show the determination government speaks of would be to overhaul the culture that is found in simple everyday places such as Home Affairs and traffic department offices.

Unfortunately, human beings seem to need to see a head roll in the streets to appreciate that there is indeed a revolution. A head ordinarily attached to a politically connected body makes an even greater statement that impunity is a vice that has no future in a democracy.

The government therefore has an obligation to the public to demonstrate rather than merely talk about its seriousness.

If we get this right, it might be the most important legacy we will give to future generations of South Africans.

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