The people who shape our debates are right to denounce the moral failings of elites. But they should also look at their own lack of a moral compass, which makes it easier for high-ups to behave badly. In a month in which a respected former finance minister’s meetings with the Guptas and the VBS Mutual Bank report raised justifiable questions about the morals of those who take political and economic decisions, perhaps the most immoral statement passed almost without comment. It was issued by the EFF before Nhlanhla Nene testified at the Zondo commission of inquiry. The key sentence declared: “The EFF is aware of many other dealings and dark secrets that compromises Nhlanhla Nene and will reveal all if he does not voluntarily step down as a minister of finance.” It does not take an ethics degree to work out that this is a deeply immoral statement. If the EFF knows of Nene’s “dealings and dark secrets”, it must make these public. It has no business using the information to get Nene to ...

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