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MANAGING CORRUPTION IN SOUTH AFRICA: THE ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY OF CHURCHES
The South African society continues to stagger under an immense wave of corruption in both the private and the public sectors. Corruption is the misuse of public office or a position of authority for private, material or social gain at the expense of other people. The aim of this investigation is to discuss the phenomenon from a moral point of view and to suggest moral directives and ways that can assist the Christian churches to address corruption from a Christian ethical angle of approach. The church lives by its testimony and by its ministry. Based on this vocation the churches have the responsibility to engage in the struggle against corruption by raising ethical awareness and constantly reminding society at large of the plight of the poor. Pointing to Christ as the model of human conduct, the churches should enhance the deeper meaning of self-interest, honesty, fairness, responsibility, compassion, love and accountability. The development of an attitude of servanthood and stewardship according to the attitude of Christ is of specific importance in the process of raising ethical awareness. These values are much needed in a culture of corruption driven by self-interest and greed. And last but not least, the churches must always call for social justice and never refrain from reminding the prosperity-driven South African society that as long as the current large-scale poverty prevails, corruption will be difficult to curtail.
Key Words: Corruption, Greed, Self-Interest, Ethical Awareness, Stewardship, Servanthood