The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Integrity

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on August 5, 2022 06:36

1 user

It is all too easy to talk of integrity, but it is central to the contract between members of society. And it is down to the individual to act with integrity. But if integrity is lacking in the leadership of a country, a conflict with its citizenry is inevitable.

Two siblings in the Cape Province of South Africa recently went to draw cash at a shopping center. To their surprise, the Teller machine spewed out a considerable amount of cash. Did they grab and run? No, they called the police and the bank and waited until the cash had been secured. At my favorite auto parts shop, someone approached the cashier about a mistake on his invoice. At first, she refused, saying: "Once you had left with your purchases, there is nothing I can do." He insisted: "You dropped a zero, lady. If you do that, this place will fold, and I need you to be successful so I can buy my parts."

The corruption-plagued ruling party has just completed its policy conference. A central issue was the spate of senior party members that stood accused of criminal misconduct, fraud, and corruption, but no serious discussion about the party's Integrity Commission ensued. A recent opinion article suggested that this vital body acted to protect rather than prosecute senior party members. 

The Kwazulu-Natal provincial conference of the party, held a few weeks ago, insisted that ex-President Zuma was blameless despite numerous charges of corruption and billions of taxpayer money spent to avoid, drag out and otherwise frustrate legal proceedings. The conference also elected leaders who saw no wrong in public violence unleashed in protest at the arrest of Zuma last year, unrest that had claimed many lives and seen immense economic damage caused. 

This problem has been well known in the ANC for some time. In 2021 the Limpopo branch of the party appointed leaders who were implicated in a banking scandal that had seen pensioners, small shopkeepers, and municipalities defrauded. Accused, some of the perpetrators claimed that 'they had not been found guilty in a court of law and therefore were blameless. 

Trust is something that has to be earned. My grandfather once said: "People can take away anything from you, except your good name. That you have to give away yourself." And while I have been talking about integrity in politics, integrity is equally important in business. 

One of the popular local hardware chains recently posted dismal economic results, while its competitor did well. Management had intricate explanations of global constraints, supply chains, and economic downturn. For me, the explanation was simple: whenever I go there, I meet surly staff talking among themselves. I find cashiers unwilling to honor special offers. At the opposition, the staff is eager to help, advise, and sometimes warn against poor quality products. No competition here, in my mind, about who I trust. 

In the run-up to Kenyan elections integrity is a key, and citizens went to court to block candidates who had been found in breach of constitutional provisions on leadership and integrity. A commentator paraphrased Dwight Eisenhower: 'The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible...'

People know what is right and what is wrong. Leaders should take note.

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on August 5, 2022 06:36

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: CNET

The social network says the president violated its rules about civic integrity and elections.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest