Refuse to pay bribes, urges govt

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pretoria - Government has called on South Africans to help fight corruption by refusing to pay bribes and reporting officials who solicit bribes.

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said in a statement that people have the right and responsibility to refuse to pay bribes and to report officials who solicit bribes.

"When one pays a bribe, one is not only a victim of a crime, but also a willing participant in the criminal act. To root out corruption, citizens must work together with the authorities and report all unlawful incidents at their local police station," said Maseko.

This follows an informal poll conducted by the Lead SA initiative in collaboration with Primedia Broadcasting and the Independent Newspapers which demonstrated the concern showed by people in a number of urban areas over alleged bribery and corruption among Metro Police officials.

Maseko said while government welcomed such initiatives by civil society, media and business to identify incidents of bribery and corruption in the country and bring it to the attention of law enforcement agencies, government called equally strongly on all South Africans to join the fight against corruption.

"Citizens have no right to complain about public-service corruption when they are the ones offering bribes or trying to circumvent due process," he said, adding that most public servants, including Metro Police, were hard-working, ethical and committed professionals wishing to contribute to the country's development.

Government, he said, has consistently stated its determination to root out bribery and corruption at all levels. It has made it quite clear that bribery and corruption will not be tolerated and officials found guilty of such conduct will face the full might law.