Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2003-06-09 Reporter : Ian James Editor:

Different Unit : Response

Publication  Business Day
Date 2003-06-09
Author Ian James
Web Link


Sir - I have great sympathy for the arguments presented by Richard Young in his letter to the editor (June 5). Whilst I am not in possession of the facts, I too have noticed the allegations of racism that are now being levelled at individuals such as Mr Young, who are harassing the government on the subject of corruption and the arms deal.

This does not concern me though as much as the almost complete lack of investigative journalism on the subject. Why, in our country, is it left to individuals to pursue the smell of a story or, in this case, the stink of a scandal?

Corruption, despite some people's fixation, is not a weakness of the African continent. It exists internationally at political, economic and social levels. However, Mr Young, do not blame the auditor-general or public protector for our inability to expose corruption. Who exposed former president Nixon? Who exposed the "questions for money" scandal in the British parliament? Who continues to expose the slightest hint of illegal favour throughout Europe? It is investigative reporters financed by editors and owners of the press. In SA we seem not to be blessed with reporters or a press willing to dig for the truth and keep those in power in the spotlight and somewhere close to the straight and narrow.

Will somebody in the press please pick up the mantle of investigating the arms deal and harassing the government until it comes clean, and leave Mr Young free to grow his business.

With acknowledgements to Ian James and the Business Day.