The tender corruption with the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be declared a crime against humanity because it is not government policy as apartheid was at the time.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the Public Protector said the above in an online debate by the United Nations in South Africa (Unasa) on Monday.
Mkhwebane said the Rome Statute – the treaty under which the International Criminal Court was established – stipulates that in order to be a crime against humanity, there must be a state or organizational policy that promotes this corruption.
Apartheid was a crime against humanity because it was the official government policy of the old National Party government against black South Africans, the public protector said.
Corruption is not an official policy of the post-apartheid government.
The only way it can be a crime against humanity is if it can be proven that the government is deliberately withholding funding from law enforcement agencies and institutions such as those of the Auditor General and the OB to sabotage them.
“This does not mean that corruption should not be taken seriously. This is a very big problem, ”she said.
“Week after week we read and hear of more revelations about corruption. This has serious consequences for the country. This leads to worse poverty and increases the already great inequality in the country.
“South Africa has sufficient legislation to tackle corruption and is also part of various international agreements against corruption. There are also enough institutions to fight it, ”she says.