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Sat Nov 22 10:45:42 CAT 2014

We need graft-busters who can do the job: iLIVE

Paul Hoffman SC, director, Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa | 27 February, 2013 00:07
Hawks logo. File photo.
Image by: Halden Krog / The Times

Your front page report on Monday, headlined "War on corruption", and the thoughtful editorial on the topic reflect a push by the government to get tough with public servants who are corrupt. But it is impossible to fight the high-level battles that need to be fought without the warriors who are needed.

The Hawks are simply not up to the task.

The Constitutional Court has described the Hawks as insufficiently independent to be an effective anti-corruption body.

What such a unit demands is: specialisation, proper training, unflinching independence, resources that are ring-fenced and tenure for the members of the entity.

The Hawks do not come up to scratch on any of these criteria, which the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development compiled after years of research.

The first steps to combat corruption are being used to counter the bad publicity that the government anticipates at the start of the Seriti commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

If the powers-that-be were seriously at war with corruption, a new anti-corruption entity - better than the Hawks and the Scorpions put together - would be created, the Eagles.

As all ornithologists know, eagles fly higher, see further and go after bigger prey than hawks.

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