Criminal justice after corporate corruption is just the beginning
Companies must also repair the damage done by their actions — and this requires a lot more than vague apologies and returning ill-gotten gains
Most South Africans applaud the arrest of those alleged to be involved in the Bosasa corruption scandal. There is a strong sense that such arrests are long overdue and that many more in corporate SA need to be held accountable for their involvement in corruption, state capture and other acts of ethical misconduct. While it is correct that our pursuit of justice starts with criminal justice, criminal justice alone is inadequate to achieve complete justice which returns society to the moral state before the misconduct. We have fallen into the trap of believing that once a company has been fined or executives are prosecuted, that justice has been served. This is not complete justice because it leaves other injustices and social harms unremedied. To illustrate this point: If someone steals a farmer’s truck and gets sent to jail for the theft, we might feel that justice has been done. But what about the farmer? He is still without a truck and perhaps unable to earn a living without this ...
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