Human instinct is to set up an institution to deal with big problems. That’s one reason we have so many ministries of this, that and the other. But establishing yet another body — on its own — will not necessarily resolve endemic corruption.

In his state of the nation address of February 11 President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned tackling the scourge — not uncommon in his recent speeches. Covid-related corruption is just the latest episode in a long-running saga of fraud, malfeasance and theft. The president said: “We will shortly … [see] the establishment of an independent statutory anticorruption body that reports to parliament.”..

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