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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

Bursaries available for postgraduate studies
2016-09-19

Due to the current financial landscape in the higher education sector, the University of the Free State (UFS) has allocated funding for 130 honours degree bursaries, funds for research masters, and doctoral bursaries for studies in 2017.

The closing date for the honours bursaries is 19 December 2016.

Honours bursaries
All South African and international students, from any higher education institution, wishing to pursue their honours degree in 2017 can apply for the honours bursary. The funding is available for both full-time and part-time studies.

Applicants must have a minimum average of 65% in the third-year module in which they want to pursue an honours degree.

Students registering for a first honours degree in 2017 at the UFS will also be eligible for the university’s registration fee waiver. More information and frequently asked questions about the honours bursaries are available here.

Deliver your application form to Pinky Motlhabane at the Postgraduate School on the Bloemfontein Campus or submit it via email to motlhabanegk@ufs.ac.za.

Masters and doctoral bursaries

UFS has allocated funding for 130 honours
degree bursaries for studies in 2017.

Funding is available for the first three years for research masters students and the first four years for doctoral students. The masters and doctoral bursaries are open to all South African and international students. The funding is available for full-time and part-time studies.

Learn more about the masters and doctoral bursaries.

Postgraduate students can apply for the masters and doctoral bursaries at any time.

Other bursaries
UFS academic merit bursaries and other postgraduate funding opportunities are also available for postgraduate students.

•    Merit bursaries: The merit bursaries are available for honours, masters and doctoral studies.

•    Faculty awards: Various faculty awards are available to students who undertake postgraduate research degrees.

•    National Research Foundation (NRF): To apply, please visit the NRF website and follow the application process. Please note that NRF bursary applications will open again on 1 June 2017.

•   Independent awards: The UFS Bursaries and Scholarships Guide for Postgraduate Students provides a comprehensive list of these donors as well as information on the available opportunities and application procedures.

For more information about all bursaries, please contact Pinky Motlhabane at the Postgraduate School on +27 51 401 9635 or motlhabanegk@ufs.ac.za.

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