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Book offers blueprint for fight against corruption
Author: Daniel Bugan
Published: 29/10/2019

A book on corruption in Africa, co-edited by the vice-dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Prof Pregala Pillay, was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing earlier this month.

The co-editors of the book, A Multidimensional Perspective on Corruption in Africa: Wealth, Power, Religion and Democracy, are research fellow Prof Sunday Bobai Agang, and head of the Unit for Moral Leadership, Dr Chris Jones, both of SU's Faculty of Theology.

Pillay is a professor in the faculty's School of Public Leadership and director of the Anti-Corruption Centre for Education and Research of Stellenbosch University (ACCERUS).

Through historical and contemporary perspectives on authority structures, institutionalised myths and rituals of authority, the volume explores how to correctly mobilise and influence citizens' behaviour and attitudes towards accountability, transparency and probity. This in order to strengthen integrity, equity and sustainable development in Africa. The book strongly advocates that corruption is everybody's business.

All the chapters in some way commemorate the inaugural anti-corruption year of the African Union in 2018 by interrogating how mechanisms to eliminate inequity and poverty can be built in Africa.

Through her work with ACCERUS, Pillay contributes to the corruption discourse with innovative research of corruption, anti-corruption initiatives and the restructuring of existing policies.

She says the book, in which she collaborates with leading academics and researchers, presents an opportunity to increase SU's access to new knowledge markets.

“Our publication is based on the belief that there is unlikely to be a single and uniquely different approach which would provide a successful blueprint for the fight against corruption," says Pillay. “We seek approaches to strengthen, deepen and strategically add to existing anti-corruption methods because we believe that our empirically based research leads to new paths of understanding and to achieving more assured and comprehensive results."

Jones elaborated on the book's assertion that corruption is everybody's business.

“Public commentators often criticise politicians, entrepreneurs, clergy and the state for the lack of public probity and accountability that leads to corruption and impunity. However, the reach of public transparency and probity can hardly be limited to public governance.

“Therefore, there is a need to explore how religious and other sectors interact with politicians in Africa and to interrogate, critique, practice and build mechanisms to uphold transparency, accountability and probity in the quest for equitable economic and socio-political transformation that will try to eliminate corruption and poverty on our continent," he said.

The authors expressed the hope that the book will motivate African public, private, religious and civil society institutions, together with relevant stakeholders, to build a common platform for probity and integrity to eliminate corruption, impunity and, hopefully, poverty.