Quote of the week

As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.

Khampepe J
Zuma v Secretary of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector Including Organs of State and Others (CCT 52/21) [2021] ZACC 28 (17 September 2021)
8 May 2012

Having the auditor-general qualify audits due to poor accounting practice or a lack of attention to detail is always cause for concern but, if the political will exists, such things can at least be rectified by introducing new systems or through improved personnel management. The real problems come when governance is so poor that there is simply nothing to audit — where records are not kept, minutes of meetings and decisions are never made, employees are not qualified to do their jobs, and it is not clear who is responsible for anything. Such an environment of zero accountability is ripe for corruption and this is precisely the outcome that has resulted. It is no exaggeration to say that there are entire towns, and critical state departments, that are now in the hands of organised crime syndicates masquerading as public servants. Their sole aim is to loot, and creating a climate of general administrative chaos is an excellent smokescreen. – am Editorial in Business Day

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