Thursday, August 24, 2006

Is corruption a white issue?

My last couple of posts have focused on the role of race in argument and the credibility thereof.

Tony Yengeni Photo: IoL
Today saw the admission of Tony Yengeni into prison to begin a four year sentence for not declaring a discount received on a Mercedes Benz from Daimler Crysler - a bidder in the arms deal Yengeni was party to.

There has been much outcry. Western Cape provincial ANC chair James Ngculu said that it was not as though Yengeni had stolen something - he had merely failed to declare a discount. Well Mr Ngculu, next time an agent of yours, perhaps in a housing deal, takes a cut from the other party to your prejudice, tell me they merely made a mistake. As an elected representitive, that is what you are - our agent.

President Mbeki chose this time to comment on a tough stance against corruption in his newsletter, ANC Today. Congratulations to him.

And after the shocking news that convicted criminal Brigadier-General Ernest Zwane had been appointed the South African Defence Force's director of prosections, Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, who arrived back in South Africa on Thursday, announced that Zwane had been sacked. He has launched a probe into the selection procedures. Well done Minister Lekota.

Also in the news today is that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has told Jacob Zuma to do the honourable thing and forget about the presidency. While Tutu acknowledges that Zuma is a likeable man, he believes his sexual misconduct is inexcusable. Well done Archbishop Tutu.

What's the point of this post? Each of these issues is well removed from the struggling township dweller. They are seen as largely white issues. The calls for men of the people to be jailed are seen as racist in nature and the reaction is one of opposition rather than logic. For logic to prevail and South Africa to progress, debate for and against cannot be white versus black. Well done to Minister Lekota, President Mbeki and Archbishop Tutu for taking the moral high ground.

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