Prevention is better than cure: Promoting public service integrity

  • Werner Webb University of Johannesburg
Keywords: corruption, South Africa, election, government


The prevention of corruption is a common theme of the election manifestos of most political parties in the run-up to the general elections of 2009. This development is without doubt due to the many allegations of wrongdoing among officials within the ruling party and its senior appointments to the public service. The loss of public trust in the South African government and the public service has been the main consequence of these allegations. Internationally, governments have put corruption prevention on their agenda. Many remedies for unethical conduct have been proposed, including a free press, independent courts of law, scrupulous behaviour by political leaders, and government reform. It is then up to individual countries to decide what ‘mixture’ of remedies should be applied. This article argues that our efforts to enhance ethics and integrity would benefit more by promoting, for example, an ethical organisational culture in the criminal justice system than overly focusing our attempts on prosecuting allegedly corrupt political


Author Biography

Werner Webb, University of Johannesburg
Department of Public Governance
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