The 5 Best Corruption Tips for April

Apr 3, 2014

 Opinion Piece


Opinion Piece: The 5 Best Corruption Tips for April

By Jenny Reid Managing Director of iFacts.

3 April 2014

If you want to be successful in fraud and corruption, South Africa seems to be the perfect university for the eager pupil.

April Fool jokes aside, the hard-ribbed reality is that corruption, like crime, pays. It is the reason the Mafia have lasted where governments have failed. It’s what keeps the courts and jails filled. Whenever the temptation factor is high, corruption will follow.

The Old English word for best derives from the superlative of its root word, meaning remedy or reparation. For many the best remedy for their own greed is to steal, lie, and cheat. The best way to promotion, it seems, is through corruption and not hard work or strong ethics.

Here are the top five tips to get ahead in the art of the swindle:

The best corruption is one that starts at the top. If you’re going to commit fraud, aim high – it will lower your chances of getting caught. In South Africa today, you can be a leader in a community, company or country and deflect any consequences to your action by virtue of your position. The more cronies you have benefiting from corruption, the more you will be shielded from the law and public outrage. The spider, it seems, always sits in the middle of the web, not the edges.

The best corruption is one that keeps on giving. There are individuals iFacts investigate who exploit occasional opportunities to commit fraud or corruption. However, those that benefit most from corruption that is entrenched in South Africa’s economic, social and political structures. It has become a lifestyle, a value system, backed up by a sense of entitlement or, at worst, callous indifference.

The best corruption is one that makes good copy. In South Africa, allegations of corruption erupt in the media every day – from mismanagement to misappropriation of funds. The big headlines, Twitter flurries, Facebook messages of impotent indignation – all detract from any serious debate or inquiry. For all the media smoke, people don’t get to the source of the fire.  It sells papers. It doesn’t find solutions.

The best corruption is one that masquerades as altruism. No one would argue that BEE or equity strategies have come a long way in levelling the playing fields for previously disadvantaged people in South Africa. However, the dark side is the emergence of the tenderprenuer – who hides his corruption behind a complex paper trail. Or a rich businessman using his status for passive income. Instead of creating a fair working environment, we’ve created a greedy middle class.

The best corruption is one that remains invisible. For every Nkandla scandal or text book debacle in Limpopo, there are hundreds and thousands of cases of smaller, yet no less insidious, fraud happening across South Africa. These acts take place in companies—both big and small—and can range from fudging the petty cash to fixing a multi-million rand insurance claim. They are normally only detected once the employee leaves the company. In other words, when it is too late.

Finally, let us remember that the word corruption comes from the Latin verb rumpre, meaning to break. Corruption doesn’t just break the law, it also tears the social and moral fabric of a country. It creates a breach in business that allows misconduct to flourish.

The best thing we can do about corruption is talk about it, tackle it, and take people to task for committing it. We must do this in our companies, our political parties, even our own families if need be.

 The worst thing? Ignore it. Is this only South Africa?  Your opinion would be valuable. I gave mine. 

About iFacts:

iFacts removes the people risk so that organisations can go about their business with employees they can trust. iFacts has a range of services that extend into every aspect of proactive and reactive security activity, which a company requires for optimum employee performance, loyalty and integrity. From people risk, ethics and integrity to safety and security and employee wellness, iFacts offers a full range of services to both individuals and employees that will ensure your organisation is achieving optimum performance.

Issued by Write Scene on behalf of iFacts

For Editorial Enquiries, contact:

Andrea Muller

Write Scene

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For Further information about iFacts, contact:

Sonya Skipp

General Manager

Tel: 011 609 5124

Mobile: 082 895 2478




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