Public Protector urges society to stop politicising corruption
South Africans need to stop politicising public sector corruption and take responsibility for it, says Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela.
Speaking at a Diakonia Council of Churches function in Durban on Friday evening, the Public Protector said society seemed to think the only people that could be corrupt were politicians.
She said corruption in the public sector was, in fact, more prevalent in operations by officials, particularly in lower ranks.
"People see corruption as a political disease, like only politicians are corrupt. What about the public servants. For example, what about the engineers that certify that construction on shoddily built RDP houses has been completed according to specifications?" the Public Protector asked.
This, she said, was not to suggest that corruption did not exist in civil society.
"In fact, quite the opposite, we have corruption in the public sector because there is corruption in civil society. Otherwise, who corrupts those who exercise public power? Furthermore, people in the public sector are members of all our communities."
The Public Protector said the fact that the faith community attracted a huge audience placed it in a good position to play an effective role in efforts aimed at combating "the twin evils" of maladministration and corruption in state affairs.
"On the question of the ethos of public sector decision-making and anti-corruption, the faith community is excellently positioned to help generate good morals including the idea of a public service as stewardship and the idea that government money is not orphaned money," she told guests.
The clergy such as Dr Beyers Naude and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa had played a central role in the battle for liberation, the Public Protector noted. Men and women of the cloth there need to get more involved in efforts geared at defeating the challenged that South Africa's young democracy faced, she said.
The Public Protector also invited the faith community to work with her office to empower communities to exact accountability in the exercise of public power as an act of patriotism and nation building.
For more information, contact:
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communication
Public Protector South Africa
072 264 3273
012 366 7035
Saturday, May 12, 2012