Current generation of adults holds SA in trust for those to come
Embedded in our collective mind as the current adult generation should be that we hold this resource, SA, on behalf of this youthful generation and generations to come, in trust.
It thus behoves on all of us, that since we are trustees of this resource, we, accordingly have to act at all times with integrity, ethically and in sync with the dictates of the constitution we so lovingly breathed into the democratic SA in 1996.
The future of our children, grandchildren and great children is in our hands today. Any behaviour we portray and display which is inconsistent with our constitution should be abhorred by all without fear or favour.
South Africans must stand as one even before the criminal justice kicks in to prosecute those who had, have or continue to wrong society and deplete unduly this resource, to the disadvantage of this generation and future generations.
All South Africans have a moral duty to denounce corruption publicly and rebuke those who pilfer the coffers of SA Incorporated without winking, even before the long arm of the criminal justice system clutches them. This we do by becoming credible whistle-blowers. No thieving or corruption occurs in a vacuum.
Policies in the public and corporate spaces are crafted and enacted in law in a manner so distinct that were we to be active whistle-blowers, corrupt politicians, public servants and corporate executives in their numbers would have been wearing orange overalls by now.
A fortnight or so ago I was invited to engage with pupils at a school in the leafy area of Fourways in Johannesburg. The request was specific. The school wanted me to address them on: Intelligence as the “Spy Boss of Domestic Intelligence in SA”.
Before I could venture my address to them on what my job entails, they humbly and respectfully requested that they be the ones throwing all manner of questions in respect of my job, to me. Oh, was I not in the dock for a good measure of an hour? Pupils wanted to know how safe they are in school from all manner of attacks, from criminals, scammers and terrorists.
So we engaged truthfully and honestly with one another. I assured them with authority that they are all safe in school and at their various homes. An aeroplane from the nearby Lanseria International Airport flew over the school. I gave them another assurance that our airspace, seas, oceans and land spaces are all free from terrorism, hence they always see and hear the sounds of aeroplanes landing at the airport.
Here are pupils seeing that as trustees of their inheritance, SA Inc, we hold this resource, which is theirs, dishonestly.
Crime is of concern to them, dare I say, to all of us. I again assured them that the police and the private security companies are doing their best to protect all of us. We were sailing well with our engagement and I felt that I would be acquitted at the end of the trial until one pupil threw a curved ball and asked: ‘Sir, you being a spy boss in the country, how come there is so much corruption in our government?’
I worriedly ventured to address this question.
They were adamant that our president, seemingly, is the only one who detests corruption. I assured them that we are all at one with our president in terms of fighting to root out corruption, that the SA Police Service, SIU, Hawks and NPA daily arrest and prosecute corrupt politicians and public servants.
This last question about corruption worried me immensely. Here are pupils seeing that as trustees of their inheritance, SA Inc, we hold this resource, which is theirs, dishonestly. I assured them that we are hard at work correcting our bad past to save their resource by ensuring that those who thieved in the past face the full might of our criminal justice system.
I assured them that successful prosecution of politicians and public servants would serve as a deterrent to would-be future corrupt politicians and public servants. I told them that as a “spy boss in the domestic branch of the State Security Agency” — together with my colleagues in SAPS, Hawks, NPA and the department of correctional services — we would ensure that we root out corruption not only in the government and state-owned entities, but also in the corporate space.
Let’s work diligently as adults and protect SA Inc for future generations. Our children don’t trust that we are good trustees of their resource. Let's show them that we are worthy of their trust.
- Mahlodi Muofhe is the DG of the SSA (State Security Agency).