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Corruption is but one of the major challenges confronting SA alongside other arguably more serious problems. Think of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Think of persistent racism. Think of our public education and health systems. Think of our dysfunctional criminal justice institutions and the parlous state of critical state-owned enterprises such as Eskom, South African Airways, the Airports Company SA and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, to name but four. And yet, despite the gravity of these problems, corruption is front and centre of our public discourse. It was certainly the most powerful influence on the outcome of the local government elections. It accounts for persistent violent "service delivery" protests. It is the root cause of the turbulence consuming the governing party. Barely a day goes by without a disclosure of grand corruption. If the president is not shepherding a disgraced former state enterprise head into Parliament and, it’s strongly rumoured, into the Cabi...

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