By Polina Bronder
"Lawyers protect the castle when the barbarians are at the gate."- Benjamin Haley.
The destructiveness of corruption and the need for it to be abolished was emphasized by Benjamin Haley, Ahmed Mokdad and Kgabo Mashalane during their presentation at JoMUN. The three lawyers work for the corruption unit at Convington & Burling situated in Johannesburg.
"Corruption is multifaceted," Ahmed Mokdad said. "It comes in so many forms. It's complex. It's intricate and its consequences are multiple."
Corruption is more prevalent than most of us know. According to World Economic Forum, corruption costs 3.6 trillion dollars annually. If one were to eliminate it, global welfare would increase drastically. Tax revenue could be utilized for the improvement of the public rather than fattening the wallets of politicians, leaders and business owners.
The difficulty in removing corruption- in Africa especially- is seen in corruption's cultural acceptance. It has become such a prevalent factor in many societies that people barely bat an eye towards it. Detangling corruption from the tapestry of their economy seems unimaginable.
A shocking statistic came up during the presentation: 39% of ordinary people do not believe that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.
"The only way to break the cycle of corruption is to stop it in another generation," Mr. Haley said. "Children are extremely receptive."
Mr. Haley emphasized that when they witness an adult, partake in corruption, they either subconsciously or consciously are more inclined to be acceptive of it and endorse it in the future.
Corruption has a positive correlation with other crime. The need to eliminate corruption does not only lie within extra governmental revenue that could be used for the betterment of the public, but also to decrease other crime. A corruptive culture can increase trafficking crime, gender-based violence crime and decrease crime reports.
"Corruption decreases the public's trust of the police force." said Mr. Mokdad.
Eliminating corruption can be achieved through a free press and transparent economic activity in the government. If the public is able to see how their government uses their money, the government is less likely to misuse their power. allows for the spread of radical money distributions which will likely decrease
Similarly, free press will expose corruption in government.
It is vital that we acknowledge the destructive nature of corruption. It is vital the public as well as the private sector fights to get rid of it.