SAP’s “wholehearted, unreserved” apology a silver lining to an uplifting day

At the darkest hour, it’s natural that we struggle to find any light. But there was much to be drawn from yesterday’s extraordinary developments, topped by the Bell Pottinger-type confession of German multinational SAP. Fancourt owner Hasso Plattner’s company apologised “wholeheartedly and unreservedly” to the people of South Africa for bribes paid into the Zupta network of corruption.

From my own perspective, I enjoyed uplifting interviews with Peter Hain and Wayne Duvenage, both of which you’ll find on Biznews today. Anti-Apartheid icon Hain has developed into a massive international thorn in the side of SA’s previously imperious crooks. For his part, Duvenage is rolling out plans to expand the potent OUTA operation’s 38 corruption fighting staffers to 180.

Closing off yesterday’s hopeful signals was SaveSA’s insistence that SAP must go further and send its errant staffers to jail. Another of its proposed remedial actions is one I really like – an apology to amaBhungane, with remorse shown by “material” support that will help its investigative journalists uncover more malfeasance.

At this rate, South Africa could emerge from the mess with the best crime fighting activists on earth. Silver linings do exist. Even when the clouds appear to be darkest.

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