Thursday, November 01, 2012

Apartheid grand corruption - Assessing the scale of crimes of profit from 1976 to 1994

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Apartheid grand corruption

Assessing the scale of crimes of profit from 1976 to 1994
A report prepared by civil society in terms of a resolution of the Second National Anti-Corruption Summit for presentation at the National Anti-Corruption Forum, May 2006
Hennie van Vuuren
Programme Head: Corruption and Governance
Institute for Security Studies, Cape Town
Racist nationalism is as vulnerable to corruption as most systems of authoritarian rule. In closed societies, which are highly militarised under dictatorial rule, the truth is hidden from public view by design. Access to power (and a monopoly over it) provides the elite in the public and private sectors with a unique opportunity to line their pockets. In so doing, the defenders of an illegitimate and corrupt system start to defy their own rules and laws that criminalise such behaviour. In
terms of common law crime they are simply crooks dressed in the guise of patriots
representing the interests of their volk, their race or their narrow class. They have
effectively corrupted themselves.

Such a system can also only survive for as long as a monopoly over power is
maintained. Its survival is therefore tenuous—common knowledge to all
functionaries of the system, who are the first to ensure that they are taken care of
should there be a break with the past. This leads to a reliance on ‘insurance’,
usually in the form of cash or other easily moveable assets that can be moved
abroad in the event of regime change. It is in the period before regime change that
the elite, in particular, are likely to accumulate as many resources as possible for
fear that they may soon be out of a job or, at worst, have to flee the country


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