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Misuse of public funds by Politicians in South Africa


South Africa’s Long History of Misuse of Public Funds by Politicians

“The 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index assigned South Africa a score of 43 out of 100, ranking South Africa 71 out of 180 countries; a high score and a low-ranking signal that the country's public sector is perceived, to be honest. There was a marginal improvement by 2021, when South Africa received a score of 44, ranking it 70 out of 180 countries. Nonetheless, this remains below its score of 45 in 2016. Countries with scores below 50 are believed to have serious corruption problems.” - Wikipedia

African National Congress (ANC) is the leading party in South Africa and the majority of its leaders are being investigated for corruption and other crimes(misuse of public funds-related crimes). Former South African president Jacob Zuma the fourth black president from ANC and of South Africa was the first president to be investigated for corruption after building Nkandla(homestead) worth over 246 million Rands around 2009. During the investigation, other crimes such as money laundering and fraud were discovered. In April 2017, thousands of people across the country protested for Zuma to step down as the president and the campaign was called #Zumamustfall. On 14 February, he stepped down as the president of South Africa. On 29 June 2021, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail which led to widespread looting as people were protesting for Zuma to be released.

During the first phase of the pandemic, funds were allocated to help fight COVID-19, especially in rural areas and billions of Rands went missing under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership. As per the investigation, some of the ANC members like Ace Magashule, former Secretary-General of the party, awarded two of his son’s a tender value of 2.7 million. The award was made after the provincial treasury decided to centralize COVID-19 supply procurement, to support local businesses. In 2021, Ace Magashule was then suspended as the Secretary-General for the R255 million Free State asbestos saga corruption case which was later dropped, as the National Prosecuting Authority’s case for him did not seem strong enough to guarantee a conviction.

The leading story of corruption currently in SA is the story of Bathabile Dlamini, the African National Congress Women’s League(ANCWL) President  and former social development minister who has been found guilty of lying under oath in a 2017 inquiry into the social grants debacle at the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA). It is still unknown if she will be sent to jail or must pay a fine. This will be confirmed by the court on the 1st of April 2022. This is the second time Ms. Bathabile is found guilty of dishonesty. Her first encounter was in 2003 when she and other members of the parliament were convicted for fraud of (R254,000 service benefits/mileage claims) in the Western Cape High Court in the Travelgate scandal where Bathabile was then sentenced to a fine of R120 000- OR 5-years imprisonment. She opted for a fine and was promoted to then-President Zuma’s cabinet in 2009.


South African Black Twitter has been calling for a reshuffle of the cabinet since the reigning of Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. The country is tired of being led by old people who fail in the delivery of services year after year but keep on making empty promises and when the problem arises, they point fingers at each other with no solution. ANC has been leading for over 27 years now, but the country is not improving. Instead, it's deteriorating day by day, suffering from poor infrastructure, illegal migrants, corruption, etc. There is no hope for a better South Africa.


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Tags: #government #southafrica #publicfunds


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