JUDGEMENT ON SERITI COMMISSION PRESENTS IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY
21 August 2019
In the 20 years that have passed since I blew the whistle on the corrupt arms deal, South Africa’s integrity has taken a beating.
We have slipped, in the perception of many, from the high table of global ethics and morality to occupy a much lower position beset by allegations of malfeasance and maladministration, on the one hand, and continuing inequity and grinding poverty on the other.
Among our biggest mistakes has been our failure to bring crooks in the State system to book. It begun with the arms deal. Had we drawn a legal line in the sand and slammed the door on corruption 20 years ago we would have prevented much of the looting of the State that followed.
Today’s High Court judgement overturning the Seriti Commission’s whitewashing of arms deal corruption is important because it demonstrates that although the wheels of justice have been turning almost imperceptibly slowly, they are not entirely broken. The rule of law prevails.
All South Africans, regardless of their race, class and political affiliation, have responsibilities to stand against corruption. We should be very grateful to the non-profit organisations Right2Know and Corruption Watch for acting on their conviction – and our behalf – and taking the findings of the arms procurement commission to court.
The court’s judgment presents a new opportunity to demonstrate that in South Africa all citizens, irrespective of power or connectivity, are governed by the same laws and Constitution, and held to equal standards and account.
Statement issued by GOOD Leader Ms Patricia de Lille, 21 August 2019