"In Africa, the struggle for human rights shares a great deal of common ground with the struggle against corruption. In fighting to improve the lot of a majority of the world's population, one must recognise that the fight for social and economic rights is often intimately linked to the fight against the monopolisation of resources by 'networks of patronage'. Corruption perpetuates discrimination, prevents the full realisation of economic, social and cultural rights, and leads to the infringement of several civil and political rights. In a move that acknowledged the fact that corruption is a pervasive problem in Africa, the African Union (AU) adopted the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AU Convention or Convention) in July 2003. This Convention is yet to enter into force. Likewise, in Nigeria and South Africa, the governments are on renewed campaigns against corruption using anti-corruption legislative and institutional frameworks. These anti-corruption legislation mainly address corruption by criminaliszing it. This is mainly because the phenomenon of corruption is being approached from an economic or pollitical viewpoint. No doubt criminal anti-corruption legislation and institutions are necessary, but this dissertation seeks to evaluate them in terms of their relative or possible successes and challlenges, especially in cases of widespread societal corruption. The premise of this disseration is that from a preliminary assessment, it would seem that the law is losing ground in the battle against corruption. It thus posits that the effectiveness of the law in the fight against corruption will continue to diminish if it fails to addres the social and economic factors that cause the initial problematic behaviour. Presently, the law concentrates on merely proscribing and punishing corruption. It is not being used to address the social and economic conditions that perpetuate corruption, hence, its ineffectiveness especially in cases where the incidence of corruption is so high as to be classified as systemic. In these situations, mere legislative and institutional responses may not suffice as anti-corruption measures. The underlying catalysts for such a hihg degree of corruption - the social and economic injustices resulting in a cyclical reproduction of corruption - are usually not addressed by these responses. In addition, these responses tend to underrate the need to empower those who are at the receiving end of corruption. They thereby concentrate solely on the empowerment of institutional machineries in the fight against corruption. This is the premise upon which this dissertation is built: the need to transcend the tratidional responses to corruption in a manner which hopes that by empowering people using a human rights approach, the underlying causes of systemic corruption may be reduced. Then, perhaps, the society would have discovered a veritable anti-corruption tool. ... This dissertation consists of five chapters. Chapter one provides the general introduction into the study. Chapter two then analyses the phenomenon of corruption and its impact on human rights in Africa. This analysis focuses on case studies and situations in Africa. Chapter three follows with an appraisal of the AU Convention and anti-corruption initiatives in Nigeria and South Africa. This appraisal begins with highlights of the normative framework of the Convention and goes on to assess the impact of such frameworks in the two countries under focus where they are already largely being implemented. Chapter four thereafter introduces a two-pronged human rights approach to combating corruption. This approach consists of a reinforcement of the guarantee of human rights, as well as the proposal for a freedom from corruption as human right. Chapter five consists of conclusion and recommendations." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Angelo Matusse at the Faculdade de Direito, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mocambique
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2005.