The director of an organization called Accountability Now, Paul Hoffman, spoke on the need for South Africans to be rid of corruption from its system which according to him can only be achieved with an integrity commission.
Hoffman who is set to present his proposal to Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee tomorrow, said the integrity commission should be set up under Chapter 9 of the Constitution, which provides for institutions that support and promote democracy, like the office of the Public Protector.
“The idea is right and its time is now. The integrity commission will function as an eagle, to keep an eye on both the legislative and executive branches of government.”
It’s surprising how South Africa still suffer from widespread corruption despite its robust anti-corruption framework, simpler procedures, smoother interactions with tax officials and easier enforcement of commercial contracts compared to other countries in the region.
South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng pointed out that corruption has eaten deep in the country’s system thereby engendering the state’s democracy.
On the same hand, the Johannesburg’s mayoral candidate for the Democratic Alliance, Haman Mashaba said corruption and bad governance pulls the country backward urging for a more unified alliance to root out its hold from the society.
The major problem is that the state’s laws are inadequately enforced. Public procurement is particularly prone to corruption, and bribery thrives at the central government level.
Hoffman added that South Africa lacks effective and independent machinery of state that will properly deal with corruption. In his words, the Hawks don’t meet the criteria put forward in Constitutional Court judgments that followed the demise of the Scorpions and the creation of the Priority Crimes Unit.
“What the Constitutional Court asked for, without being prescriptive, was effective and independent anti-corruption machinery.”
Corruption in the country includes the private use of public resources, bribery and improper favoritism but Hoffman said rooting out corruption requires a team of properly trained specialists that can’t be dismantled on a political whim- an Integrity Commission.