Corruption Watch defines corruption as the use of one’s position or power for personal gain. This can take numerous forms – in Soweto, for instance, looting and vandalism have increased tension between local and foreign residents, ruined the livelihoods of shopkeepers, and resulted in the deaths of several people. One of the alleged looters was a police officer, caught on camera in the act.
Media reports say he is stationed in Dobsonville on the West Rand. He has been identified from the clip and would be formally charged – this official is our zero of the week.
Other reports have published claims by Soweto residents that police had actively taken part in the looting, and had even helped other looters to cart their plunder off. Soweto resident Charlie Masondo said: “I was expecting the cops to stop the looters from stealing, but they allowed and organised them to do it. All they kept on saying was that people should not vandalise the shops.".
When those who are supposed to uphold the law find themselves on the wrong side of it, through their own actions, the public loses faith in the safety and security and justice systems. This incident could be viewed as being no different to other government shenanigans, with officials looting the public purse on a larger scale and in many cases, getting away with it.