Jacob Zuma, former South African president, is currently sitting behind bars in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal. Facing corruption charges, Zuma defied court instructions to testify as part of the state capture inquiry, triggering a 15-month prison sentence.
Zuma is one of the few African heads of state to have faced corruption charges in their own country. His resignation in 2018 and subsequent investigations are the victory of the people of South Africa, powered by civil society, courageous media and vigilant courts. The events unfolding in South Africa therefore contain lessons for the whole region.
Corruption, especially high-level and grand corruption, has been a significant barrier to democratic governance, human rights protection and sustainable development across Africa. Recognising this threat, on this day 18 years ago, the African Union adopted the African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) in Maputo, Mozambique. Since 2017, countries across the region have marked 11 July as the annual African Anti-Corruption Day.
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