South Africa: Addicted to Corruption
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  • Anthony

    What South Africans can do for themselves…. Human inclination towards self advantage WRM invites debilitating corruption sans institutional traditions countervailing instinct (reinforced by societal arrangements – this cannot be imposed from outside both personally and governmentally).

  • Walter Sobchak

    Why does a Justice of the US Supreme Court think that South Africa’s Constitution is better than ours?

  • SteveMG

    Why does a Justice of the US Supreme Court think that South Africa’s Constitution is better than ours?

    Given the inclinations of the Justice involved it’s probably due to their “guarantees” of economic rights. “Free” contraception and all that.

    Granted, the US Constitution may not be the best for every other nation. But the basis for the document – that “men are not angels” – applies everywhere. If you begin devising a government based on that principle, i.e., a realistic understanding of human nature, then you’re bound to get most of the rest correct.

  • Kris

    “Corruption truly is a cancer eating away at the prospects of improving the wellbeing of the 62 percent of the country’s population living in poverty.”

    And gee, I wonder what the effects of that will be on racial harmony…

  • Mark in Texas

    Golly, this happened in every other African country after independence.

    Who could have imagined that it would happen in South Africa?

  • PTL

    Are you sure that Obama is not running that
    government? The Chicago Mob writ large.

  • craig

    African tribal culture holds that for one who attains and holds power (by whatever means, democratic or not) it is meet, right, and one’s bounden duty to ‘reward your friends and punish your enemies’. There is no concept of moral limits on the Big Man’s privileges regardless of who the Big Man happens to be.

    The requirement that rulers act justly to both their allies and their opponents is an attribute of Christianity, but Christianity would have to permeate African culture for a few centuries before this doctrine could take hold and overcome the persistence of tribalism.

    Rule of law: yet another underpinning of civilized society which we unknowingly inherited, and which we gradually unlearn as we gradually discard Christianity.

  • Yahzooman

    I lived in South Africa for two years. It’s a lovely country with very talented and friendly people.

    However, the residue of Apartheid is poisoning it today. When whites ruled, the trains ran on time and government worked. (At least it worked for whites to live a very high life and for blacks to eat their dust.)

    When Mr. Mandela rose to power, blacks thought they would swap positions, as well. All those mansions in Parktown and Rivonia would now be occupied by Zulus or Xhosas, instead of Boer and English.

    Little has changed though. Except for a few elite blacks, most still live in extreme poverty.

    Blacks have lost their patience. Crime has risen, corruption is rampant and the vast majority are still awaiting the African Xanadu with a broad middle class and increasing wealth.

    It will take generations for blacks to improve their lot. Apartheid (purposefully) set them back decades. Whites are content to maintain their slightly diminished lifestyles in order to avoid a Zimbabwe-like collapse. In the meantime, elite blacks and whites will pay each other off at the expense of everyone else.

    Winston Churchill (who made his name as a correspondent there during the Boer War) might say these two appeasers are feeding the crocodile hoping it will eat them last.

  • Vinny B.

    Sad how you blame the black people of South Africa as a proxy for blaming our black president, telling people that “hey look all blacks are corrupt.” Stop it. The real criminals are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Palin, Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum, who should all be arrested for their crimes against humanity, given a fair trial, summarily convicted, and send to Leavenworth for the rest of their lives.

  • Avram

    And they are waging a slow-motion genocide of white farmers, which is legitimised by some elements (at the least) of the ANC. Victory for the oppressed does not necessarily mean that good government and economic development will follow. Not hardly!

  • Mastro


    “Sad how you blame the black people of South Africa as a proxy for blaming our black president, telling people that “hey look all blacks are corrupt.” Stop it.”

    OK- so no stories should EVER be written about corruption amongst non-whites- because it might make Obama look bad.

    Is Obama really that sensitive? Nice of you to look out for him.

    “given a fair trial, summarily convicted, and send to Leavenworth for the rest of their lives.”

    “Fair trial”? sounds like you made up your mind- no jury slot for you.

  • seguin

    Gee Vinny, looks to me like you’re putting words in other people’s mouths…in addition, in your list of TEH EBIL people – [what] did Palin ever do that could even be halfway considered a crime against humanity?

    From that one sentence, I assume that you are, essentially, the exact same kind of person as those that filled the ranks of the Fascists and the Communists…i.e. a vindictive loser.

  • Mexipat

    There is an educated-white flight from SA and has been for years, and the remaining whites are NOT in power. (Nice try Yahzooman and Vinny B., but no prizes for you.) Blacks own the corruption now, and the country is deteriorating. And no one wants to ask the really difficult question: Are the people of SA (or Zimbabwe or Kenya or …) really better off under black government rule? The tired Leftist refrain is “Colonialism is evil.” and to blame for everything negative in sub-Saharan Africa. That is simplistic and naive, or maybe just stupid and self-serving, and it prevents addressing the actual issues. Instead the failing countries are viewed as “victims of white oppression” to throw guilt-money at which, ‘surprisingly’, only fattens black despots’ Swiss bank accounts. The Left simply can’t admit this, so nothing ever changes for the better.

  • vanderleun

    Rhodesia, and now South Africa. I wonder what these states have in common.

    You might more accurately write: “There are almost no limits on what South Africans can do TO themselves, if they make up their minds to do it.”

  • Kris

    Theodore Dalrymple wrote a quite interesting interesting article about Africa during and after White rule.

  • vanderleun

    Vinny B. says:
    February 23, 2012 at 11:57 am
    Sad how you blame the black people of South Africa as a proxy for blaming our black president, telling people that “hey look all blacks are corrupt.”

    Vinny, as is said with such truth and conviction in the film ‘As Good As It Gets,’ “Go sell crazy somewhere else. We’re full up here.”

  • Colin

    But Ruth Bader Ginsburg said South Africa had a model template for governance……

  • The problem is the ANC has held onto power for too long. Luckily the younger generation of blacks are looking at parties other than the ANC to support. But, because they helped end Apartheid, the ANC will ALWAYS get the vote of blacks that grew up under that terrible system. But those blacks where purposefully under-educated by the Apartheid government, they are a big drag on the economy as there early lives were geared towards only doing menial or physically demanding labor. It’s a big hurdle to learn new skills when you’re 40 and very poor.

    That said, the ANC realizes the position they are in. They’ve pushed Zuma out of the party, he was too much of an agitator. Zuma was supposed to be next in line for the Presidency, hopefully they’ll find a clean politician to take his place.

    I’ve also been living/working in South Africa for a few years (2010 and 11). They are trying to build a black middle class…and it’s happening slowly. But the townships have a terrible problem with illegal immigration (really, search for “South Africa Township Xenophobia” at the Google). The illegal immigrants are working for much less than that already paltry minimum wage.

    But South Africa itself has a giant reserve of mineral wealth. And they control the only good port in southern Africa (at Durban). They have a much more diverse population than you’d expect and, for the most part, everyone hopes for the best for everyone in the country.

  • Fried watermellon

    Why is everyone supprised???
    There isn’t one African nation that is not totally corrupt.
    These people still have a Stone Aged mentallity.
    Only within the last hundred years have they moved out and Westernized a bit.

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