‘Presumed innocent’ not an invisibility cloak

Dear Corruption Watch: My local councillor is being investigated for his role in corrupt tender processes in our municipality. A senior branch member of our political party told me that I should not discuss the allegations or charges because the councillor is “innocent until proven guilty”. I understand that this is an important part of Read more >

Key regulator will control flow of information

Dear Corruption Watch: In May, the deputy minister for constitutional development announced that an information regulator would soon be appointed in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act. What is the role of the information regulator? How does the appointment process work? Would there be recourse for interested parties if unsuitable candidates were to Read more >

“Sub judice” an overused cop-out

Dear Corruption Watch: It seems the ace in every politician’s hand is the sub judice rule, which somehow makes difficult questions go away. What does sub judice mean, and why are these words so powerful? Yours sincerely, Latin illiterate Dear Latin illiterate “Sub judice” is a Latin expression meaning “under judgment”. The power in these Read more >

Grease and corruption are one and the same

Dear Corruption Watch: I understand that corruption usually involves someone paying money to a government official to get something to which they are not otherwise entitled (such as bribing an official to issue a licence), or to avoid punishment (such as paying a traffic officer not to give you a speeding ticket). But is it Read more >

Fee just as illegal as bribe

Dear Corruption Watch: Coverage of the showdown between the former head of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and the minister of trade and industry glossed over the “grease payments” she was trying to stamp out. People are often required, when registering their businesses, to pay an extra “fee” to a “runner” who takes the Read more >

One thing taxpayers won’t be liable for

Dear Corruption Watch: New day, new allegations of corruption levelled against the top brass of our parastatals. Invariably, the defamed chairperson or CEO vociferously denies the allegations and threatens to sue for defamation. If he or she does decide to sue, can the state-owned company foot the legal bill? T (for tired-of-paying-legal-bills) Taxpayer. Dear T Read more >

Court must test NPA pair’s ethical fitness

Dear Corruption Watch, a legal professional body has gone to court to have two senior National Prosecuting Authority officials Lawrence Mrwebi and Nomgcobo Jiba, struck off the roll of advocates. How does this work? Surely the professional body can regulate itself? Why does it have to go to court? Curious Dear Curious Your questions are Read more >

Local laws are there, enforcement is not

Dear Corruption Watch, South African businesses seem very concerned with understanding and adhering to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. And yet they’re not so worried about our own legislation? Lekker Local Dear Lekker Local Your perception is not wrong. Here at CW we have certainly experienced, in our interaction Read more >