Let’s say a thief conspires with some of your most senior staff to steal almost R2bn from your business. You become aware of it and make all the necessary noise and demand that the money be paid back. You fire the thieves in your employ and lay charges against them. Some concerned citizens and political opportunists rally to your defence and lay charges of theft against the corporate thief, both at home and in the thief’s home country. The authorities there happen to be less tolerant of thieving. The corporate thief, in fancy tailored clothing and with smooth business-school talk, puts up a spirited defence, arguing what a great job he did to earn the money stolen from your business. Nothing helps, particularly as the corporate thief has a reputation for thieving. Long fingers, the Xhosas say. Strangely, even as you negotiate for the return of your stolen money, you don’t lay charges against the main culprit, the corporate thief. At any rate, the local police could not be bothered a...

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