South Africa has experienced its most turbulent year since the end of apartheid in 1994, a non-stop drama featuring allegations of high-level corruption and illicit influence by private interests which have led to court cases against the political elite, reaching as far as President Jacob Zuma.
The Treasury, the banking system, the judiciary and the office of the Public Protector – an independent investigator into government misconduct – have all been under attack by powerful public officials and businessmen allegedly bent on enriching themselves.
So far, these institutions are fighting back as they try to preserve the credibility of the financial system. The public is worried. According to the African edition of the Global Corruption Barometer released in December last year, 83 per cent of South Africans believed that corruption was increasing and 79 per cent believed that the government was doing a poor job of fighting the trend.