Leadership: Stomping On The Scorpions

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October 27,2008:  The South African parliament has passed a law to disband an elite government investigation unit nicknamed the "Scorpions." Investigations by this unit have led to dozens of corruption prosecutions of government officials. That's why the unit is being dismantled. Corruption is a major problem throughout Africa, and many nations are now setting up units like the Scorpions, after having realized that corruption was the major cause of the poverty and civil wars that afflict most Africans.

But the corrupt politicians and government officials tend to prove very resilient when confronted with the possibility of being punished. Those that cannot use their money to bribe or litigate their way out of trouble, often seek to dismantle the anti-corruption organizations themselves. There is much popular unrest over this sort of thing. In South Africa, the ANC, which has ruled the country since the white minority agreed to democracy in the early 1990s, is breaking apart. The anti-corruption faction is out to start a reform party that will take on the crooked politicians who dominate the government.

At least the corrupt politicians are being challenged, but so far the bad guys are still winning. Africa's future depends on achieving clean, or at least much cleaner, government. Revolutions alone won't do it, because that tends to just replace one bunch of corrupt politicians with a new crew, spouting new slogans.

 


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