In 2002, the Dutch government did a remarkable thing. On the release of a damning report from the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, which laid much of the blame for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre on Dutch politicians, the entire Dutch cabinet resigned in a show of responsibility. The Dutch government, then under prime minister Wim Kok, publicly acknowledged that it could have done more to prevent the slaughter of up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica by Serbian forces in 1995. Dutch cabinet ministers have a long tradition of stepping down in cases of wrongdoing or ethical conflicts. In February this year the Dutch minister of foreign affairs stepped down after lying about a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In countries such as the Netherlands, for a politician to voluntarily take responsibility for their actions is so routine it is not even particularly newsworthy. This tradition of prompt and voluntary resignation is virtually unknown in SA. Throughout th...

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