How do we expect to root out violent crime and street crimes, when the politicians and executives at the top of the food chain keep getting their fingers caught in the cookie jar?
Last week we saw new revelations of an international ring of embezzlement involving the world’s top banks.
Not only were they helping to launder money for drug lords, but they were making sure that they line their own pockets.
It involves trillions of dollars over more than two decades and could topple some of the best-known banks in the world, although I doubt it.
Having as much money as they do is clearly not enough.
And that is the main problem I have with capitalism.
It forces people to always want more. The wanton greed is unquenchable.
Those at the top set up systems that exclude the majority of people.
Then we are forced to use those systems; place our trust in them, only to have those at the top abuse their inventions.
And if you’re not educated at the same schools that they were, then there’s very little hope for you to get in on the action.
It appears to me that only a handful of the world’s super rich obtained their wealth in exclusively legitimate ways.
And then they invest a lot of time in keeping the rest of us as low down the food chain as possible.
So when a guy like Hamilton Ndlovu draws the attention of SARS because of all the R11 million worth of luxury cars he bought (possibly with the proceeds of corruption), I don’t approve, but I sort of understand.
Our leaders are setting these examples for our youth, showing them that, not education or hard work, but stealing from the poor is the easiest way to get rich.
I am literally unable to keep up with all the stories of graft.
If it isn’t new revelations at the ongoing Zondo Commission, then its new PPE corruption scandals, fresh new ways in which the Guptas embezzled our money, or nepotism that cost us millions.
So many public officials are involved in some sort of investigation, prosecution or defending accusations, that I’m wondering where they find the time to serve us.
Does it also appear to you that instead of working at making this country better, many of our elected officials spend their time looking for new ways to rip us off and enrich themselves?
We used to gasp at amounts of R3m or R15m disappearing.
Now we are hearing of fortunes like R500m and R800m and even well into the billions in some cases.
It is sickening and tiring at the same time.
But worst of all, it has reached the point where we as citizens feel defeated; as if there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.
I haven’t even talked about the myriad of kickbacks and golden handshakes we read about time and time again; from the likes of Eskom, SAA and the SABC – all companies that we are forced to fund year after failed financial year.
Corruption has become such a part of our lives now that even Chief Justice Zondo felt defeated recently when he commented on how frustrating it is, reportedly saying that there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.
All of this makes one wonder about the wealth of the world’s tycoons.
They want to make us believe that it’s all due to hard work, innovation and an appetite for risk.
But it appears what they do is simply a socially-acceptable and legalised form of crime.
Many of them are nothing more than corporate gangsters with fast cars and fancy mansions, looking down their noses at gangsters who want the same.