Big names in South African politics and civil society have thrown their weight behind Corruption Watch, with the number of signatures on the organisation’s anti-graft pledge rising to well over 1 000 in a day.
The web-based pledge explains its purpose: “The best way to stop corruption is for all of us to take a stand; by signing our pledge you are making your voice heard in the on-going battle against all corrupt practices.”
The very first signatories were panellists at the Corruption Watch launch in Johannesburg on Thursday: Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Corruption Watch director David Lewis.
“Corruption Watch developed a pledge targeted at the men and women in this country to commit themselves to not engage in corruption,” Madonsela said.
“This pledge will form part of the institute’s initial campaign and I think this is an informed approach because too often we look at corruption in a one-sided manner, forgetting that for every corrupted individual, there is a corruptor.”
Other distinguished South Africans who signed the pledge at the launch were liberation stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, political and social activist Jay Naidoo, former director-general of higher education Mary Metcalfe, Section27’s advocate Adila Hassim and Mark Heywood, political economist Moeletsi Mbeki, former director-general of Home Affairs Mavuso Msimang and former Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.
“Our first campaign,” said Lewis, “is asking people to sign the pledge online, or via SMS, which commits them to not participating in corruption and to treating public resources with respect.”
To sign the pledge via SMS, send the word “PLEDGE” followed by your first and last names to the number 45142. The SMS costs R1.