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Tue May 31 12:02:13 SAST 2016

How much more government graft can we take?

The Times Editorial | 04 February, 2013 00:24

The Times Editorial: The sorry saga of government corruption has become frightening. Somehow, there seems to be no threshold to government graft. And increasingly it seems that maladministration and corruption must now reach epic levels before they have any shock value.

In the early 2000s, as the full realisation of the severity of the Aids pandemic hit South Africa, the media were often accused of exaggerating the devastation caused by the disease. Media audiences were suffering from Aids fatigue, we were told.

South Africans will soon be suffering from corruption fatigue as government graft continues to be exposed.

But how can we stop telling the story of our government being plundered by audacious employees - from lowly public servants to senior bureaucrats - who believe that their time to "eat" has arrived.

The reports in today's newspaper on corruption in the Eastern Cape health department are staggering on many levels - least of all the scale and audacity with which government employees have plundered state coffers.

Though this is only one department in one province, there is enough anecdotal evidence to show that it is no isolated case.

Corruption is endemic in South Africa.

The direct result of state corruption is that money and services never reach those for whom it is intended - often the poorest South Africans.

It should be abundantly clear that this is an abnormal situation that is rapidly becoming the norm.

And the longer corruption is allowed to continue and fester, the more difficult it will be to steer our country away from continuing along the dangerous path to becoming a state in which order, morality and honesty do not exist.


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