26 Jan 2012

New Initiative Corruption Watch Launched in South Africa

A new civil society initiative has been launched to help curb corruption in South Africa. Corruption Watch, initiated by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), was founded as a non-profit organization to collect, analyze and publicize information about corruption cases received anonymously from whistleblowers through a website and a cellphone message hotline. Additionally, the organization will take complaints to law enforcement authorities for further investigation.

According to a speaker from COSATU at the launch event, the objective of the new organization is to gather public participation in naming and shaming corrupt politicians and public officials, and to strengthen public disapproval of corruption. COSATU’s initiative follows their efforts to pressure the governing party African National Congress (ANC), to which they are allied, to taking a tougher stance against corruption, especially in case of suspicions against party members.

Regarding the risk of the reporting mechanisms being used to make false accusations, the individuals behind the project emphasized the importance of verifying information posted by users. According to Ben Elers, from Transparency International, similar initiatives in other countries have collaborated with government agencies and the media to ensure that information made public is not based on false claims.

Read the full article “Unions back anti-corruption campaign in S.Africa” on newsday.com. The picture above is featured in the article and is credited to AP and Denis Farrell.