Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
13 October 2020 | Story Prof John Mubangizi | Photo Sonia du Toit
Prof John C Mubangizi is Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State.

South Africans are sick and tired of corruption. They are angry, frustrated and despondent. And they have every reason to be. South Africa has many problems: crime, unemployment, poverty, gender-based violence, inequality, low economic growth and now – in common with many other countries – COVID-19. The list goes on and on. What makes corruption the biggest threat among all these is that it cuts across all of them and impacts on their gravity in different ways. 

The South African Constitution envisages a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. The way things are going, that society is never likely to happen. That is because corruption has been, and continues to be, the greatest threat to any possibility of realising that constitutional dream. In South Africa, like everywhere else where corruption is rampant, it occurs both in the public and private sectors, where it affects democracy and human rights by deteriorating institutions and diminishing public trust in government. It impairs the ability of government to fulfil its obligations and ensure accountability in the delivery of economic and social services like healthcare, education, clean water, housing, and social security. This is because corruption diverts funds into private pockets – which impedes delivery of services – thereby perpetuating poverty, inequality, injustice and unfairness. The problem is aggravated when government is the main culprit. “Government” here, of course, refers to the dictionary meaning of the term, namely, “the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state”.

Corruption existed in ancient Egypt, China and Greece

There are those who argue that corruption is as old as mankind and, therefore, it is here to stay. Indeed, corruption is known to have existed in ancient Egypt, ancient China and ancient Greece. In Robert Bolt’s 16th Century play A Man for All Seasons, Richard Rich’s opening remark is “But every man has his price.” In the 1836 play The Government Inspector, Nikolai Gogol cleverly satirised the human greed, stupidity and extensive political corruption in Imperial Russia at the time. And in a recent article in The Conversation (28 August 2020), Steven Friedman wonders why South Africans express shock at corruption when “it is perhaps the country’s oldest tradition.” He locates the advent of corruption in South Africa at the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, through to the ensuing colonialism and apartheid. He argues that in reality, “corruption has been a constant feature of South African political life for much of the past 350 years. It is deeply embedded and it will take a concerted effort, over years, not days, to defeat it”. 

Agreed, but does it have to be that way? At the time of Jan van Riebeeck and during the 350 years of colonialism and apartheid, we did not have the legal framework that we have now. Here is a brief overview of that framework.

Read full article here

Opinion article by Professor John C Mubangizi, Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State


News Archive

UFS to celebrate Darwin Year
2008-11-10

The University of the Free State (UFS) will next year be celebrating Darwin Year with a comprehensive programme in which many of its departments will take part. The programme is spearheaded by the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, in cooperation with the National Museum.

“Next year it will be 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years after the publication of the first edition of his famous book ‘On the Origin of Species’”, says Prof. Jo van As, chairperson of the organising committee and head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the UFS.

“The programme aims to portray the influence of Darwin’s theory of evolution on various fields in the natural and agricultural sciences. It will start in February 2009 and end a year later in February 2010. We see this as a good opportunity to promote science in its broadest context,” says Prof. Van As.

According to Prof. Van As a scientific lecture programme on evolution and its impact on various fields will be presented on the Main Campus of the UFS in Bloemfontein on a monthly basis throughout next year. These will include topics such as the mechanisms of evolution: heredity and natural selection, extinction, the start of agriculture, human demography, human impact and the resistance to HIV/Aids antibiotics. The theme of the lecture programme is “The Story of Life”.

A stage play to commemorate the life of Darwin and celebrate his contribution to the understanding of life will also be performed during the Volksblad-kunstefees.

The National Museum will host different events and exhibits. “They will participate in the programme presented at the UFS, present temporary exhibitions to coincide with the programme on campus and also present their own events,” says Prof. Van As.

More information about the programme can be obtained from Ms Isabel Human at 051 401 2427 or humanci.rd@ufs.ac.za.


Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
10 November 2008
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept