Corruption in South Africa

Corruption in South Africa
Political corruption
Corruption Perceptions Index, 2010
Corruption Perceptions Index, 2010

Electoral fraud · Economics of corruption
Nepotism · Bribery · Cronyism · Slush fund

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Corruption in South Africa includes the private use of public resources, bribery and improper favouritism.[1] The 2010 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index assigned South Africa an index of 4.8, ranking South Africa 54th out of 178 countries.[2]


Corruption in South Africa

Tenderpreneur is a local term that has been created to refer to individuals who enrich themselves through government tender contracts, mostly based on personal connections and corrupt relationships - although outright bribery might also take place - and sometimes involving an elected or politically-appointed official (or his or her family members) holding simultaneous business interests.[3] This is often accompanied by overcharging and shoddy workmanship. It may or may not involve BEE-fronting, where previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs) are given a seat on the Board of Directors of a company while having no decision-making power in the company, in order to qualify the company for government contracts in terms of Black Economic Empowerment.

Government initiatives against corruption are coordinated by the Department of Public Service and Administration.[4]

Notable incidents of fraud and corruption

  • The South African Arms Deal, finalised in 1999, became mostly known for the bribery that was used to gain the contracts. The Schabir Shaik trial arose partly from this scandal.
  • The Travelgate scandal, in which 40 members of parliament were found to have illegally used parliamentary travel vouchers worth R18 million for personal use.[5]
  • The Goodwood police station commander, Siphiwo Hewana, was found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice for tampering with the docket for convicted fraudster Tony Yengeni's arrest for drunken driving in 2007.[6]
  • Former National Police Commissioner and ex-President of Interpol, Jackie Selebi, was convicted on corruption charges in July 2010, for receiving (at least) R120 000 from alleged crime-syndicate boss, Glenn Agliotti.[7]


  1. ^ Tom Lodge, "Political Corruption in South Africa", Political corruption, 
  2. ^ "Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 Results". Transparency International. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Bloom, Jack (10 May 2010). "Empowerment vs Tenderpreneurship". Politicsweb. Retrieved 26 April 2011. "Rational incentives and a corruption-free tender process are the best way to broaden opportunities for those who were previously excluded. Otherwise, expect more window-dressing and backroom deals that don't grow the economy or create new jobs." 
  4. ^ Country Corruption Assessment Report - South Africa
  5. ^ Meldrum, Andrew (25 January 2005). "40 accused in South African MPs' fraud case". The Guardian (Pretoria). Retrieved 25 April 2011. "Forty South African members of parliament, past and present, are to be charged with fraud today in the biggest corruption scandal in the country's post-apartheid history. The 40 MPs - 27 current and 13 former - will be charged with illegally using parliamentary travel vouchers worth £1.5m to pay for lavish trips for themselves and relatives, according to prosecutors." 
  6. ^ "Yengeni cop found guilty". News24. SAPA (Cape Town). 30 November 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2011. "Former Goodwood police station commander Siphiwo Hewana was on Monday found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. Hewana appeared in the Parow Regional Court before magistrate Elsa van Zyl." 
  7. ^ "South Africa ex-police head Selebi guilty of corruption". BBC News. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2011. "A court in South Africa has found the country's former chief of police Jackie Selebi guilty of corruption. Selebi, also a former president of Interpol, was accused of having links to organised crime and accepting bribes worth 1.2m rand ($156,000, £103,000)." 

External links

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