SA’s former minister for Finance Trevor Manuel said a number of incidence points to the fact that some parts of South African government have been captured.
The former minister, in a podcast and video clips aired by Eyewitness News admitted SA’s role in destroying the hold of corruption in its system.
However Manuel said destroying corruption isn’t easy as “life lived on ‘ill-gotten’ gains is harder to ditch than drug addiction.
He said South Africa is still at a very low-end when it comes to dealing with the issue of corruption and state capture.
“There are a series of incidents now that do reflect that particular parts of government are very captured‚” he said.
“And the problem about being involved in corruption‚ and so on‚ is that it’s hard to extricate yourself from.
“It may be easier if you were drug addict; once you’ve reached the point and say‚ ‘I am ready to go to rehab’ … and emerge on the other side and say‚ ‘Now I am going to be clean.’”
Manuel said there are all kinds of people who creep out of the woodwork to make spurious allegations about other people, avoiding the fact that there are a series of instances that do reflect particular parts of government are very captured. And the problem about being involved in corruption and so on is that it is hard to extricate yourself from it.
But‚ he added that if you have lived off the proceeds of corruption‚ you’ve acquired a lifestyle that you can’t normally afford‚ and it becomes very difficult to step off that … if you’ve had a stream of ill-gotten gains that has come to you in addition to your salary….
“To call a halt to that voluntarily seems to be incredibly difficult and much more difficult than dealing with a problem of drug addiction.”
Trevor Manuel also said South Africans needed to have a broader conversation about corruption, in doing so, he said better punishment will be measured out for those who engage in graft.
“People must go to jail for stealing from the poor. I don’t think we must second-guess this stuff; people must go to jail because when they steal they don’t steal from the wealthy in society … I think it’s contradictory to everything we believe about whose interest should be represented by government,” Trevor Manuel said.