Zuma scandal in South Africa is latest example of high-level corruption


Recently, South African President Jacob Zuma resigned in a late-night address to the country. This week, politicians and pundits continue to reflect on what led to his downfall – which, even in the midst of scandal, never seemed certain.

Fraud accusations finally proved to be more than Zuma’s presidency could bear. Two years ago, South Africa’s top court found that failed to pay back public funds spent on his private estate. But it was “the reinstatement of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering charges related to an arms deal” that pushed the needle too far for South Africans (The Economist, titled "Why Jacob Zuma resigned", 2018).

Investigators allege that Zuma received a staggering 783 payments from a former financial advisor convicted of fraud. But these were not isolated scandals. Zuma has been implicated and suspected in various corruption schemes dating back to the early 2000s… He became seasoned at fighting court battles, in many cases seeing charges dropped, reinstated, and then dropped again.

The situation is a reminder that fraud and corruption still permeate the highest levels of government in many – even most – countries. Indeed, Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index scored South Africa a 43 out of 100 (Transparency.org, titled "Corruption perceptions index 2017", 2018), noting that the country “continues to stagnate” along with other African countries in the fight against corruption.

It’s troubling news when so many countries and their citizens are trying to make inroads against fraud and corruption, only to see those efforts thwarted by the very leaders they elected. Bribery is still one of the biggest scourges affecting economies today. In fact, Transparency International (titled "Coruption statistics", 2018) reports that “more than 40 percent of employees at board and senior manager level said that sales or cost numbers had been manipulated by their company.”

But bribery and corruption eventually end in ruin, as former President Zuma’s case underscores. At CRI Certification, we understand how critical it is for any organisation to get its integrity due diligence and compliance measures in proper order and create a zero-tolerance environment for corruption and fraud. A proactive way to do that is to engage CRI Certification, a special program administered by CRI Group and its ABAC Center of Excellence.

ISO 37001:2016 for your organisation

CRI Certification’s ISO 37001:2016 certifies that your organization has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery. These measures involve top-level leadership, training, bribery risk assessment, third party risk management, integrity due diligence, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit and investigation.

The 3PRM-Certified™ training and certification process for ISO 37001:2016 helps your company address bribery in all its forms, including:

  • In the public, private and not-for-profit sectors
  • By the organization
  • By the organization's personnel acting on the organization's behalf or for its benefit
  • By the organization's business associates acting on the organization's behalf or for its benefit
  • Of the organization
  • Of the organization's personnel in relation to the organization's activities
  • Of the organization's business associates in relation to the organization's activities
  • Direct and indirect bribery (e.g. a bribe offered or accepted through or by a third party)

ISO 37001:2016 takes into account a compendium of international best-practices, enabling your organisations to apply and implement uniform anti-bribery measures irrespective of the various countries in which they operate.

Help turn the tide against bribery in your country, and your industry. Contact CRI Certification and learn more about how CRI Certification can help your company today.