richard mdluli case cartoon

richard mdluli case

Richard Mdluli case – Corruption Cartoon

The extra-ordinary saga of Richard Mdluli, erstwhile head of Police Crime Intelligence, is still unfolding. Mdluli has been suspended while charges relating to, amongst other things, being an instigator and accomplice to murder and abusing secret service special accounts, are going through the legal process. The strange matter of his being investigated only to have charges dropped because files disappear, as well as his alleging an internal conspiracy bent on discrediting and removing him, point to interventions from other probably higher quarters; quarters whose interests Mdluli seems to have been serving whilst securing cover for himself.

This pattern of the most senior police and security heads being corrupt and unscrupulous now seems to be systemic. Over the past five years South Africa has had successive police commissioners being removed for gross criminality; key reshuffles (purges?) have periodically taken place in the NIA; and the overall justice system has been repeatedly rocked by high levels of internal dissent relating to the appointment and conduct of judges and other legal personnel; in short, we have seen an escalation of impropriety in these very sensitive and strategic departments of state.

World-wide, keeping the actions of security forces (police, state armed forces, intelligence agencies, privately-owned security) within the scope of legal and morally clean practice is a struggle; but a society’s success or failure in defining, monitoring and ultimately controlling these security arms is decisive in securing human rights – at all levels – and doing so in a non-violent and rational way. In other words, the provision of true social security (in both the economic and physical senses) is dependent on the proper enforcement of the social contract that has been agreed in any given society.

This contract between citizens governs both individual and group behaviour, and covers all aspects of our lives. Indeed, we live in highly regulated societies in which ownership and control of resources (per the now global capitalist system) is tightly controlled by an elite drawn from both the private and public sectors. This ruling class has sway over the interpretation and implementation of general human rights and relevant constitutions; it determines the agenda and manages the organs and programs of state.

Now failure by this class to do so honestly and objectively so as to benefit all groupings, but especially the relatively powerless and poor, has serious consequences. It leads to continued deprivation and stunting of the lives of many millions, and imperils long-term human survival on this planet. As such, this political and economic leadership must accept responsibility for the failure of a society to adequately deal with unemployment and homelessness as well as education, health and other essential needs. But if it refuses to be held accountable and frustrates social and legal means to correct its behaviour, what options are available for the stricken society to put in place a leadership that will be accountable and effective?

The answer is the ballot box as well as other legal means. But if a corrupt ruling party rigs elections (as happens in Zimbabwe), ‘tames’ the judiciary and police force so that officers of state do their bidding and flaunt the law, then only a massive organized grassroots mobilization combined with outside pressure can restore social health. Has South Africa reached this point? Has the local elite corrupted legal process to the extent that we can only look to such means to deal with the deep inequalities and injustices that haunt post-apartheid South Africa?

Fortunately it is probably the case that we have not yet reached this point but it is certainly true that we are on the road to doing so –the Mdluli saga being a very worrying example of the incremental slide that points in this direction. For the allegations against him per se are not the main shocker: it is the response of the rest of the political establishment in the ANC that is of far greater significance.

Despite the ritual calls for stamping out corruption, action on the ground proves that those caught out (eg Schabir Shaik, Tony Yengeni, Jackie Selebi) receive special treatment, and ways are generally found to ease their states of incarceration and rehabilitate their reputations. This shameless easing of conditions brings the law into disrepute and encourages similar risk-taking at all levels. It also promotes similar side-stepping and fudging of issues so that matters drag on for months or years in the different legal arenas and accused ‘servants of the state’ who are placed on full pay for the duration of these processes, milk the state for all they are worth. Indeed, in most cases their legal fees are paid by the state and they draw all other social benefits due to them as if they were at work. This very generous support of the rule that “innocence is presumed until proven otherwise” has worked to the benefit of the accused and often placed state departments in limbo for prolonged periods. This affects governance and aggravates the matter that has caused grief in the first place.

The Richard Mdluli case is thus yet another example of a member of the elite whose behaviour has crossed all the lines of acceptability but whose removal is highly problematic due to the covert and overt support he is receiving from other equally and more highly placed officials and politicians. This network of support is reducing the law enforcement agencies to a caricature and is among the factors leading to a noticeable increase in vigilante action by communities whose faith in the police is shattered.

Can the ANC, pardon the choice of word, arrest this slide? Sadly, such firm and unambiguous action will be all but impossible as long as the current leadership holds sway. Indeed, the ANC’s moral authority is in tatters and all that matters is the fight for positions and the spoils of office that then accrue to the winners. Mangaung is most unlikely to lead to regeneration given the options of sullied candidates. And with this falling apart at the centre South Africa’s position as a society under the rule of law (bourgeois law at that but with a constitution’s whose second tier of social rights offer massive scope for social redress) becomes increasingly tenuous.

The red light is flashing. But it does not seem, despite the objectively ripe conditions, to be the red light of social democracy – never mind that of a revolution by a working class driven by doing the right thing.

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More related articles on corruption in South Africa:

  1. Corruption in South Africa
  2. Schabir Shaik
  3. Menzi Simelani appointment

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  1. The whole world is morally vrot and corrupt! Time for the honest people in this world to stand up and be counted, and live up to the axiom of “do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you!”

  2. AT LAST!! Zuma has spoken the THRUTH!! Quote “People say the ANC is looked apon as murderers, thieves, corrupt and troublemakers, we must change that”
    WE must change that, Vote ANC OUT!

  3. tsotsi “dad what is racisim?”
    “it’s when the white people work hard and the black people benefit”
    “but don’t the white people get pissed off”
    “sure they do, then we call it racisim

  4. lize ferreira says

    corruption in south africa has gone over board!!!! if it goes on like this, this country will never get better in any form for the far future. any citizen of any country should be worried not about 5 yrs from now but 15 yrs from now. where will this country be 15-20 yrs from now? the same as the rest of africa???

  5. South Africa is a REFUGEE Camp filled with Genuine South African Refugees and a few Foreigners. Every so called Squatter camp and INFORMAL Settlement is actually a REFUGEE camp as the inhabitants there are Refugees from the Rural areas of South Africa trying to acquire a Job or a living by what means possible.
    Zuma “Donates” a couple of Billion of Rands to the IMF while he and the LABOUR UNIONS are the cause of all these REFUGEE Camps Appearing alongside every Town in South Africa besides the Fact that it was a Ploy of the ANC to get ANC Voters to every corner of South Africa to be able to win the Elections in the first place, but now that they are in Charge, to HELL with these “REFUGEES”. Let them suffer and find there own way by living off CRIME and just dare give them a job that you can afford to pay the poor South African citizen Refugee, the Government we pay TAX to and the Unions are there quickly to take you to court and to label you as a RACIST and punish you accordingly.
    The word RACIST is becoming as insulting and DEGRADING as the word “K,Factor” or correctly spelled as “K@fir” which is an Arabic word for NON Believers, the Arabs gave to Blacks thousands of years ago. Any person that does not practice the Islamic Faith, is called a “Kafir” on this planet Earth.

  6. It is an axiom of ruling parties everywhere, be they Monarchies, Dictatorships, Capitalists, Communists, Socialists et al. To exploit the poor, let them go hungry, live in poverty, serve in their armies and die for the nation. The death count does not matter, the dire circumstances do not matter. What does matter is that they should stay in power, to this effect the elites must be protected and coddled, they must acquire most of the assets, land and wealth. They must show they are different by driving the most expensive suits, wearing the most expensive clothes, the most expensive jewellery and live in the grandest houses. The poor do not matter except as factory fodder, farm fodder and gun fodder. To achieve this they will use the police, the military, the red ants etc.. The ANC do it by making sure the education is up to shit, that unemployment remains high and appealing to that half of the population that is rural, illiterate or semi-literate, women.

  7. Richard Mduli had been positioned so that Zuma would have an hour on the hour reports of his would be challengers especially his deputy Kgalema Mothlante. Zuma is shrewd and will not stop at anything. He is busy meeting the people on the train, visiting old peoples’ homes while his deputy is busy going on overseas trips where proper brains are needed to dialogue. Now Mothlante is not shrewd enough to see this plot, maybe he does but people seem to have the same perception about him as they had with Mbeki, that he is aloof and not a peoples’ person. Now what do South Africans want, a dancing, womanizing president who has been sucked up into the gray train of corruption or a better devil like Tokyo or Kgalema? South Africans are so narrow minded they think little of the rest of Africa, smell the coffee, there is nothing different about SA. You guys inherited a flourishing economy from the apartheid regime BUT what have you done to improve that economy? Building stadiums for the World Cup? That all! I pity you! Come to think of it the Apartheid regime was better!

  8. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Is it not an oxymoron to use “police” and “intelligence” in the same phrase (in the South African context) ???

  9. Now now Lulu, “Apartheid regime was better” can be fighting words and insulting to black people, in my opinion. Simply put, the fact that the ANC has turned ZA into a mess, does not exonerate the many sinister and inhumane aspects of Apartheid! It is also my opinion that if black children had been given the same educational opportunities that we white children had at that time (quite a long time ago I might add!), the social, economic and political landscape of ZA could have looked more successful today. There are fine young black people today whose success is attributed to a good education. Unfortunately the unruly mobs way outnumber them. Zuma is now talking about a necessary “Second Transition” . Since the first one failed, why should the second one succeed?? The saying goes “The best indication of future behaviour is past behaviour”. author unknown to me.

  10. @ —Corny; if at all any consolation, it is not only in ZA. In the swamp I am at present wallowing in, things are no different, except for the population #’s. The majority of murder trials are declared nolle pros because witnesses ‘can’t remember’ or the police have lost the files. Corruption reigns from the top to the bottom.

  11. pietpompies says

    Wonkie, you hit the nail on the head, never a truer word written and an excellent article of how the situation is perceived to be in South Africa by a huge majority of people of all colours, classes and creeds. However, I think Zuma and his henchmen will give you the ‘V’ sign and tell you to go to Hell. The ONLY way in my opinion to change the situation is to get the masses to vote differently and vote the ANC out to get a change of Government – a formidable task!! Zuma and company will use ALL the Mafia tactics to stay in power. Bugger the masses – give them a little electricity and drinking water, make life a little bit more bearable and they will continue to vote for the corrupt. Sure, some totally unacceptable things happened during the Apartheid era, BUT IT WAS NOT ALL BAD. We had decent Hospitals. Schools. Municipalities etc. Things will not improve UNLESS people with the necessary qualifications and experience are appointed in positions to run and administer our country. Stop the appointment of girl friends, boy friends, uncles,aunts, sons,daughters,ANC cadres.etc. The whole “bangshoot” are corrupt and feathering their own nests.

  12. While growing up, my father had few words for me. But on one of the few occasions when he DID give me advice he said: Always remember – they are born liars and thieves.
    How prophetic given todays current political scenario.

  13. In order to practice my profession, I had to take a life long Oath together with signing a code of ethics which included honesty and integrity. Furthermore we are under a reportability clause in which we are legally bound to report corruption, fraud and/or fund mismanagement to the relevant authorities. Failing the foregoing, we face fines, incarceration and loss of licence to practice.
    The irony of these terms is that they were legislated by the most corrupt of the corrupt. The laws apply only to the voting public and apparently not to those in power and their supporters.

  14. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    Now you can see why Murry’s “portrait” of “the spear” is based on the portrayal of Lenin – to be a successful dictator you have to bind the masses in chains and sometimes the chains are intangibles with STIFF (unlike the spear) penalties. Just another way to keep the masses (including the rich ones) downtrodden.

  15. I spent a week investigating a case of tax fraud amounting to millions. A group of farmers and farming companies were involved. When I presented my case, I was told I had wasted a week and was threatened with dismissal if I pressed on. I was instructed to assess the cases blindly. The reason given? Some of the farmers involved were in (the Nationalist) parliament.
    On the flip side, I investigated an Engelsman for tax fraud involving plantation farm speculating. They nailed the poor guy to the wall.
    Yes Corny, it is as you say.

  16. Scorpio; as I am somewhat out of touch with the Rainbow jargon, what is the “Nationalist Parliament”? Sounds like the underground Ossewabranwag!

  17. Could be Dork’s old regiment!

  18. Tarava; I come here for my daily laugh 🙂

  19. Tarava; if you are right, they must be bribing the ANC big-time!

  20. @OutofAfrica. Tavara has hit the nail on the head. The Apardheid Government was in the hands of the (Afrikaaner) Nationalist Party (NP). The opposition was the (English) United Party (UP), which probably was the origins of the now DA.
    Corruption in high places also existed in the Apartheid days. The ANC have managed to perfect it.

  21. Scorpio; I was alive and well and very UP in the apartheid years, but I am surprised to read you were told to back off investigating nat farmer tax fraud! Are they bribing Zuma & co?

  22. OutofAfrica: This goes back to the days when I was doing my articles. I was senior tax assessor and investigating auditor for the tax department, then known as the Receiver of Revenue. The Apartheid Government was in power at the time.
    I held high positions within the department but was always ‘acting head of….’ because of my strong English background. “Die vyandse Engels”.
    Hope I don’t get Dork started……….

  23. Scorpio; thanks, I get the picture now. We were in a similar position in those days. So we of course know more about the inner workings of the nat government of those days than most. It seems the only thing that has changed in ZA is the colour of the government. Yes, hopefully Dork is in his laager………

  24. Probably Castle Laager

  25. Tarava; as I recall, their drink of choice was “dop en dam” and the dop was ‘Chateau’. The saying used to be “daar is net een tou en dis Chateau”.

  26. To even contemplate buying Zuma and his side kick private jets is plain lidicrous.
    According to a DA spokes person, the cost of the planes could provide 25 thousand families with low cost housing. How can the rear-end even consider such expenditure when so many (who voted him in) are in need of so much. The situation is, to say the least, disgusting! We should all protest.
    And how many “brothers” will have their bank accounts augmented during the negotiation process?

  27. Sorry! Typo. That should be ludicrous.

  28. OutofArica: While the laager drink may be Chateau, or in our area, Klippies-en-Coke, in Durban where I used to live, the local dop favourite of those of Asian descent was ‘spook an’ diesel’ or ‘cane an’ dash’. This drink comprised of three quarters of a glass of cane spirits and a tot of Coke. No wonder India is in the state it is………
    In our area, drinking and driving your 4X4 is dangerous. With all the potholes, you spill most of the Klippies-en-Coke held between your legs. All over the plastic leather seats….

  29. Scorpio; On one of my trips back to die Vaderland, I went to a game auction in the NW Tvl. Apart from pannekoek and beorewors, the boertjies from the area were also selling mampoer, which the rainbow government had by then legalised. One could sample the various flavours in nagmaal glasies before buying; which I did of course because it was such a novelty after all the years of nat censoring. Talking of mampoer reminds me of Hermann Charles Bosman books – they are classics!

  30. I think dork must be dead? His silence on this intelligent subject is positively deafening! He must therefore agree with everybody.

  31. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    @ TARAVA : perhaps dork/dirk/duck is the “intelligence” in “police intelligence” which might be one of the reasons for the massive amount of crime that is “undiscovered” (a synonym for ‘blind eye being turned’ / corruption (un)officially sanctioned).

  32. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    PS tarava : the dork couldn’t possibly agree with everybody – he is simply disagreeable.

  33. Why bring up the merits/misdameanor debate around BOOZE, get real. This country needs to get involved with more serious debates.
    Ha! Ha! say the millionaire whiskey importers. The ANC cronies just can’t get enough of the spirit!

  34. @avatrix: We were playng for time, waiting for someone to come up with a topic worth discussion.
    I stood at my gate a few moments ago (I run my practice from home) and an elderly black man came past. He had a well-made handmade trolley he was pulling. He stopped where each household had placed their refuse for collection (if we are lucky), went through the rubbish and collected paper, cardboard and anything else of use. This he obviously will take to a recycling plant.
    This old man, having to pull this heavy trolley to eke out an existance.
    And the president he voted for is contemplating buying a 2 billion Rand plane when there is nothing wrong with the existing one.
    Isn’t that worth discussion?

  35. Good one Scorpio! I wonder just how much BEE and affirmative action there will be in the cockpit?? Ha Ha

  36. Scorpio, How do we get these facts to the poor black population??

    1. Your ‘don’t touch our president’ Zuma could not attend the youth day celebrations. He was down in Mexico dishing out your $2 billion (R16,000,000,000) taxes to support the ailing European (white nogal) countries.

    2. The ANC gov. spends R26 billion on 80km of rail track and 60 gold bullet luxury coaches for the hoi poloi and rich foreign travellers, while the millions of poor (mostly black) workers are desperate to get to their jobs in what can only be described as ‘death trap’ trains and a rail service that passes only ONE of TWENTY TWO international rail standards.

    3. Govt. sports body can spend R17 million on Byonce for one nights award ceremony, not to mention the cost of the booze and banquet. Multi billions spent on soccer stadiums that are of no use to the poor. Convert them into schools, villages for the abandoned elderly and orphaned children.

    4 What about the overfed, fat arsed ANC Womans League?? Time for them to start canvassing schools and squatter camps, teaching young black girls to close their legs and open their minds. Do something serious about all the newborns ending up in trash cans and rubbish dumps. Attend to the elderly, calling cardboard shacks and toilets, their homes, while the nations ‘servants’ (read gov. officials) are living it up in luxury, free, State accommodation, hotels with all the expense accounts that go with it.

    Please feel free to add your gripes!

  37. You are 100% right, but the “rabbits” will NEVER believe you!

  38. The ANC is a BOZONE – an area where a substance surrounds stupid people that prevents good ideas from going in. Unlike the Ozone, it shows no signs of diminishing

  39. A lot of Bozos?

  40. Has anyone noticed the total silence from our usual obviously very biased anc supporters re all the, they would say “racist” comments above?
    Not one comment in favour? Makes you think does it not?

  41. a-maize-ingly-corny says

    A ZONE of Bozos – which has the kind of surface that neutralises all UV radiation.

  42. Scorpio, your suggestion that the United Party probably was the origin of the now DA is correct only inasmuch as the 5 persons that broke away from the United Party were M.P.s who could not countenance continuing to support a Party that so often voted in favour of apartheid policies proposed by the National Party.
    Helen Suzman, Harry Oppenheimer, Bernard Friedman and two others were the first and by the following year had been joined by a further seven U.P. M.P.s.
    The current DA still continues to follow the principles of the original Progressive Party while the other two Parties have faded into obscurity

  43. The National party, the United party, all supported apartheid. So does the ANC, how might you ask. 1. To create bantustans by having 11 official languages, this keeps the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape (Ciskei & Transkei) the Zulu in Kwa Zulu, the Tswana in North West (Bop) the Sotho in the Free State etc etc.. 2 To maintain a sub par education system to keep the majority of our population as hewers of wood. 3. To maintain the migratory labour system by keeping and enlarging hostels (which by the way increases population exposure to HIV). Even the corruption and cadre deployment resembles the Apartheid regime except it worse now.
    C’mon dirk/dork and mzu can you pass a sensible comment about this.

  44. Scorpio, lidicrous is good word to describe the current set of Bozos.

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