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While we are right to appeal to politicians’ moral conscience to have the best interests of the public at heart, we also need to design systems to help them achieve that. We might like to paint politicians as people who are totally in command of their actions, and so are good or bad, but they are human, with human vulnerabilities. We therefore need systems that put pressure on them to be their best selves, rather than pressure to be their worst. SA is emerging from a period of institutionalised corruption, and we are still trying to make sense of what happened. Some argue that the state of affairs we found ourselves in stemmed from bad faith (and bad morals) within the governing party of the day. These say President Cyril Ramaphosa was part of Jacob Zuma’s government and therefore enabled the corruption of that period. This does not, however, square with Ramaphosa’s actions since assuming the presidency, which so far seem to indicate commitment to combating corruption and improving ...

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