College of Law

Unisa participates in high level discussions on anti-corruption education in institutions of higher learning

Unisa participated in the anti-corruption workshop for university lecturers from Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), which took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 9 to 10 December 2021.

The workshop was held under the overall framework of the new Global Resource for Anti-Corruption Education and Youth Empowerment (GRACE) initiative – an integral part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Programme against Corruption. The event provided an opportunity for renowned BRICS academics who are interested in teaching anti-corruption and integrity-related courses to share experiences and approaches, and explore how the UNODC educational materials and tools can enrich their curricula.

The anti-corruption workshop and symposium coincided with the International Anti-Corruption Day, which is observed on December 9 annually. It serves as a reminder for each of us to actively speak out and fight against corruption in our lives and the lives of others. The United Nations has declared this day to bring attention to the need to adopt an anti-corruption stance.

Dr Benni K Lekubu

Equally, Unisa also participated in the 3rd UNODC Anti-Corruption Academic Symposium, which was also convened in Sharm El-Sheikh from 11 to 12 December 2021, back-to-back with the anti-corruption workshop. In line with established tradition, the symposium was held in advance of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption, and offered participants an opportunity to discuss recent trends and good practices in research and education on anti-corruption.

Unisa was duly represented in the two events by Dr Benni K Lekubu, a senior lecturer and an anti-corruption expert from the Department Police Practice in the College of Law. These events were, however, held virtually due to the current travel restrictions.

The goals of this workshop have been to (a) strengthen participants’ knowledge of anti-corruption instruments, mechanisms and tools; (b) enhance participants’ capacity to develop anti-corruption curricula and to use the UNODC educational materials and tools in their disciplines; (c) foster exchanges and collaboration among BRICS academic institutions in anti-corruption education and research; and (d) identify gaps and needs in these areas and discuss how UNODC can address them.

Article 13 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) makes provision for each State Party to take appropriate measures within its means, considering fundamental principles of its domestic law for the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector in the prevention and fight again corruption, by raising awareness of the existence and causes of corruption. This participation is strengthened by activities that will contribute to the non-tolerance of corruption and public education, including schools and university curricula.

The importance of education in fighting corruption is thus recognised by Article 13. In his address to the workshop, Lekubu reiterated: "Institutions of higher learning, looking at the high levels of corruption emanating from the Zondo Commission of Enquiry into State Capture in the country, should play a major role in the fight against corruption, both in their capacity as institutions of higher learning that touch the lives of future leaders, and as large organisations with substantial economic footprints."

"Corruption is a prevalent and continuing problem throughout the world. Its corrosive impacts are beyond any measure. The ill-effects of corruption on the society, polity and economy of a country are far reaching. Corruption is the epicentre of many political, economic, and social ills in many countries. It is omnipresent in different forms and proportions, with devastating effects on the lives of common citizens and the whole society," asserts Lekubu.

* By Dr Benni K Lekubu, Department of Police Practice, College of Law

Publish date: 2021/12/13