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Is the bribery deluge unstoppable?

The party’s slippery slope started under Mandela and has now reached a depth from which there is no return

Ethical breaches always start small. First, you protect a comrade when it is discovered that they took a bribe. Then you say a hefty discount on a luxury car is not a kickback. Then you look away when another comrade receives millions so that he can protect a comrade’s company from scrutiny in the arms deal. Then a family of thugs is appointing your cabinet ministers for you — and you are applauding them as they do so.

If you want to understand what brought us to where we are now — a country where thievery and corruption are rampant and our institutions are collapsing because no one does anything unless they are bribed — then look no further than the utterances last week of the Eastern Cape ANC’s Babalo Madikizela. Speaking at the party’s provincial conference, where he was challenging premier Oscar Mabuyane for the chairmanship, Madikizela told his supporters that they must expect to be offered bribes to vote for Mabuyane’s slate of candidates...

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