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By Kotie Geldenhuys

The mere mention of corruption, makes one think about State capture, the Guptas, former President Jacob Zuma and a former National Commissioner, namely the late Jackie Selebi. Although corruption is nothing new, it seems that it got out of hand over the past decade or so. There is a general feeling of distrust, not only in terms of whom can be trusted, but also in terms of systems and whether the corrupt will ever have to pay for their crimes. The general public is not alone in voicing their feelings. On 14 October 2019, Adv Kevin Malunga, the outgoing Deputy Public Protector of the Republic of South Africa tweeted: "The tragedy of South Africa’s criminal justice system is that the troubled young mother or juvenile who steals baby formula etc rots in jail for months as an awaiting trial prisoner while nothing happens to a resourced politician who is linked to corruption by forensic evidence."

Corruption has the potential to cripple all facets of society: it deprives people of quality education and job opportunities, undermines efforts to fight poverty, inequality and unemployment and also robs people of safety, health, infrastructure and a better quality of life. During an Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Seminar that was held in Pretoria on 24 October 2019, Adv Andy Mothibi, the Head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), added that corruption leads to a waste of public resources, undermines peace and democracy, deprives the public sector of valuable revenues and also reduces private sector productivity.

According to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index, the most corrupt countries are Somalia (ranked at 180), followed by Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, North Korea, Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan, Libya, Burundi, Venezuela and Iraq. South Africa finds itself in the 73rd position (Transparency International, 2019). Corruption Watch’s 2018 Annual Report notes that the majority of the corruption in South Africa occurs at a provincial government level (35%) followed by national government (27%) and local government (23%), while the rest of the figure consists of state-owned entities and the private sector (Corruption Watch, 2018).

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer confirms that corruption hits poor people the hardest, with devastating consequences. A bribe demanded by a police official may mean that a family cannot afford school fees or even food to eat. Findings from Mexico, for example, show that the typical poor family must spend one third of their income on bribes (Transparency International, 2019). The situation is so bad in the most corrupt countries that their populations face a combination of insecurity, resource shortage, a weak and even absent state, poor infrastructures, declining health and low-quality education. But what is corruption and what is being done about it in South Africa?

Definition
The terms "corruption" and "bribery" are often used interchangeably which is confusing. The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) (also known as the Hawks), Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya, explained to Servamus that a crime called bribery, which is a common law crime, previously existed. At some point the legislature in South Africa found that the bribery law left some of the parties involved in this crime outside of this scope of investigation. "Bribery was mostly concerned with government officials and when one came across other parties that were involved, there was not a law that covers them," he said. To supplement and to close those gaps, South Africa passed the Corruption Act 94 of 1992 which abolished bribery as a crime. The Corruption Act 94 of 1992 was repealed by the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 which deals with corruption and not bribery. Lt-Gen Lebeya said that the general reference to the act of bribery is incorrect and that its meaning is more that "a person is corrupting another one".

During the Intelligence Transfer Centre’s (ITC) 7th Annual Government Law Conference which was held on 29 May 2019 in Pretoria, Adv Gerrie Nel said that we tend to over-complicate corruption as people seldom read the definition of corruption and therefore have a misconception about what corruption entails. According to the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, corruption occurs when any person directly or indirectly accepts or offers (or agrees to offer or accept) any form of gratification (not necessarily monetary) that will either benefit themselves or another person. In terms of this legislation, corrupt activities are described as acts that involve an improper or corrupt exchange between two or more parties. Adv Nel argued that if we understood the corruption charges against Jackie Selebi as well as against Schabir Shaik, we would be in a better position to understand corruption.

Foreign bribery
During the interview with Lt-Gen Lebeya he noted that the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 provides for a crime called foreign bribery which is a transnational crime that involves corruption. "We can say that it is transnational corruption as the suspects are in more than one country, including South Africa," he explained. Since bribery is still a crime that has not been abolished internationally and South Africa has signed treaties which refer to foreign briberies, the word bribery again appears in our space. The offence itself is addressed in Act 12 of 2004 which means that offenders will be prosecuted under this same statute.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: December 2019. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article where we explain how people are “groomed” into getting involved in corruption; the cost of corruption; that collusion is corruption; the dangers of corruption; putting an end to corruption and reporting corruption, please contact Servamus’ offices by sending an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling us at tel :(012) 345 4660/22.]

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Servamus - June 2020

In February 2020, a family from Pretoria East had a harmful experience with a smartwatch which was meant to keep their children safe.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When Anita* (a widow) found love via an online platform, she was thrilled.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
One unforeseen consequence of the emergence of the Internet, is the rapid increase in the illicit trade in child sexual abuse images and videos worldwide.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
The world around us is evolving at a rapid pace.
By Adv Jacqueline Fick

Pollex - June 2020

Read More The doctrine of common purpose and the crime of rape powered by social2s - S V Tshabalala; and S V Ntuli CCT 323/18 and CCT 69/19 (11 December 2019) (CC)
On 20 September 1998 (more than 20 years ago and while common law rape was still in operation) a group of young men - the two accused persons Mr Tshabalala and Mr Ntuli, together with their co-accused - went on a rampage in the Umthambeka section of the township of Tembisa in Gauteng.
Read More - S V Masuku 2019 (1) SACR 276 (GJ)
Mr Masuku, the accused, appeared before the regional court in Johannesburg (“the trial court”) on two charges of rape in contravention of section 3 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007, read with section 51(1) and, further read with Schedule 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 (which provides for minimum sentences).
Read More - Van Rooyen and Another V Minister of Police 2019(1) SACR 349 (NCK)
The main characters in this legal drama are the following (note that the particulars of some of them are not mentioned in the judgment per se infra, accordingly Pollex found it on the Internet):

Letters - June 2020

NAME: W/O L H Zandberg STATION: Pretoria Central SAPS
Congratulations to Pollex for reaching 400 not out. Thanks for your assistance throughout the years. May God bless you with good health and joy and happiness, Brigadier.
“To sue or not to sue: May a public school be held liable when things go wrong?”
I want to take this opportunity to thank Servamus because, as a legal advisor in the police I cannot do it without Servamus.
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Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.