Law, ethics, morality in public life in South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Asmal, Kader
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-10T08:02:11Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-10T08:02:11Z
dc.date.issued 2008-11-10T08:02:11Z
dc.date.submitted 2008-10-28
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1552
dc.description.abstract It seems to me that we need to revisit our views on the role of ethics and morality in public life as we approach an unprecedented level of upheaval in our political landscape which offers both threats and opportunities. But we will only benefit from these events if we do not fall into the trap of personality politics but actually ask ourselves profound questions about what challenges these events pose to our values and our views and what principled positions we wish to adopt in response to ensure that our journey as a young democracy continues to evolve on the basis of sound practices. And our questions must move beyond individuals, institutions and statutes if we are to make real progress and not simply tick another box on an institutional matrix of how we may be performing. We need to entrench a values-driven approach to these questions where we measure our personal actions and statements every single day and not just look at our country’s compliance with various global or other indices that track corruption and various other vagaries that others may regard as opportunities in public life or by virtue of public life. In South Africa we have taken numerous steps over the years to pass various statutes and build institutions that have addressed what I would call the more ‘formulaic’ aspects of the question of integrity and morality in public life. But we have to take a very critical look at the disjuncture if not rupture between intent and action, between codification and clarification by moral, sound, ethical and principled action as a daily diet requirement of public life and ask critical questions of our performance. Where there has been compliance with the instruments it has not been as sound as it could be as a recent study has shown. Where there has not been compliance our enforcement of possible punitive measures for breaches has also not always been as stellar as it could have been. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.rights University of Johannesburg en
dc.subject Joseph, Helen en
dc.subject Asmal, Kader en
dc.subject Ethics en
dc.subject Law en
dc.subject Morality en
dc.title Law, ethics, morality in public life in South Africa en
dc.type Inaugural en

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