A new corruption scandal rocked South Africa last week when it was revealed that Japanese corporation Hitachi was slapped with a $19 million penalty by American regulators for allegations that the corporation violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said that the corporation made over $6 million in payments to a front company that belongs to the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa. This is the latest scandal of many scandals in South Africa that rocked the country since the ANC took over in 1994. The purpose of the alleged payments was to help Hitachi land contracts with the South Africa utility company Eskom.
As reported in Quartz, the ANC denies the allegations and claims that they have no information on any contracts awarded. Although Hitachi agreed to the settlement, they neither confirm nor deny that any bribes took place. South Africa currently holds a score of 44 on a scale of 100 as awarded by Transparency International. With a score below 50, the country is considered to have endemic corruption.
South Africa: Where Corruption, Rape and Murder Are Normal http://t.co/ULEMdZz9sS
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According to Business Tech, the trade union Solidarity released a report detailing nine different scandals that cost far more than the R246 million spent on President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla. The report said that the money had been lost during the last two decades, the decades during the time South Africa has been ruled by the ANC.
“According to the Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa, R700 million was lost due to corruption during the two decades following the dawn of democracy.”
Dr. Eugene Brink, senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute, said that even though the findings were shocking, the reality was far worse.
“It is impossible to quantify the actual extent of corruption in South Africa as much of the corruption takes place unnoticed and unpunished. Furthermore, there are even more incidents of corruption not mentioned in this report that exceed Nkandla,” said Brink. “Therefore the findings in the report are not all-encompassing and are merely an indication that corruption is undeniably one of the biggest crises in our country.”
As previously reported in Inquisitr, murder in South Africa is also at an all-time high while South Africa continues to decline economically under the ANC. Violent crime rose for the sixth straight year in a row. Robberies and protests against socioeconomic equality also increased while there were fewer reports of rape in South Africa.
The current government has also been accused of failing to take action to stop farm murders as critics say that the murders are largely racial in nature and target white farmers in South Africa. Police have denied this claim and say that the primary motive for the farm murders is robbery.
Two days later, iol News reported that protesters gathered in Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban to protest the corruption in South Africa. The groups consisted of over 350 civic-rights groups, religious organizations, and trade unions who came together to protest the corruption in South Africa. The 350 groups organized under the banner of Unite Against Corruption and called for tougher action against those who commit corruption in both the public and private sector.
Corruption Watch also participated in the march and said that it was a non-political march to end corruption in South Africa. Although the African National Congress won approximately 62 percent of the vote in last year’s election, critics of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma say that the government is complicit in the corruption.
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