Anti-Corruption Day should be defining moment in fight against corruption
- South Africa
International Anti-Corruption Day, observed on 9 December every year, is an opportunity to critically reflect and consider what decisive steps to take as well as coordinate efforts in dealing with corruption, says Public Service Commission Chairperson, Professor Somadoda Fikeni.
“We gather here to say Anti-Corruption Day 2022 should not and cannot be business as usual given the scale of carnage caused by corruption,” Prof Fikeni said.
In his welcome address at the International Anti-corruption Day Summit underway at UNISA in Pretoria, Fikeni said corruption has become a national catastrophe especially for the most vulnerable such as the poor, women and the youth.
“It is an unsightly blemish and scar in our collective psyche and in the eyes of our citizens and the world. In the history of South Africa there have been defining and difficult moments when men and women of goodwill and unparalleled vision gathered in the face of great challenges to curve a new course and blueprint for the future,” Fikeni said.
The Public Service Commission and its partners have committed that this year Anti-Corruption Day should be a defining moment in the fight against corruption.
“We invited heads of all three branches of government, Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive as well as partnered with all Chapter 9 and 13 constitutional accountability and oversight bodies to join efforts in search of concrete interventions to turn the tide.
“While we acknowledge many honest, hardworking public servants, we also are acutely aware of the great damage caused by the corrupt ones,” Fikeni said.
He said the framers of the Constitution were quite deliberate in isolating public service values and principles and the desired state of the public service in Chapter 10.
“Pervasive corruption has eroded all these principles and weaponised elements of public service against the very people they are supposed to serve.
“… Pervasive corruption has now emerged as a powerful force with just the same destructive effect as colonialism and apartheid,” Fikeni said.
Chairperson of the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, Prof Firoz Cachalia, said the summit needed to answer urgent questions related to corruption.
“We do not hide from the truth that is self-evident that our democracy is being damaged by corrupt and self-serving leaders.
“Persons who are elected into high office in a representative democracy are required to act faithfully at all times in the interests of the people and never in the interests of themselves as an elected caste of wannabe oligarchs and plutocrats.
“They should also never place themselves in a relationship of dependence on private economic interests or allow such interests to capture the democratic process for their own selfish ends,” Cachalia said.
Among the dignitaries attending the summit are the former Public Protector, Professor Thuli Madonsela and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
International Anti-Corruption Day 2022 is observed on 9 December. It is aimed at creating awareness among people about the impact of corruption on the nation.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release