The country is in the midst of a judicial reckoning after a decade of corruption so insidious an entire state was placed at its service. If the Zondo Commission is not mere spectacle, this should mean orange will be the new Armani for many politicians. But the limitation of anti-corruption crusades is that, after the beneficiaries go to jail, the infrastructure for a repeat performance remains in place. Happily, some enablers of state capture such as PR companies like Bell Pottinger and auditors like KPMG have had their comeuppance. Yet, the actions of lawyers, without whom not a fraction of the damage could have been done, has gone unremarked.
When senior managers steal they typically do so knowing the company’s systems back to front. They know which accounts can be skimmed and which assets taken. Seniority also provides insight into how their misdeeds may be covered up. They know what transactions trigger audits and where holes exist in record-keeping. If the company monitors email or the cameras no longer work – they are often in the loop on that. The law reports are replete with managers misappropriating monies, stealing equipment, misusing vehicles, copying sensitive data and paying inflated invoices. The city of Kimberly was recently the scene of a particularly intricate crime. A trusted senior manager defeated all manner of security systems – red-areas, glove-boxes, magnetic safes and click-clack jars – to sneak out high value diamonds . It is one of those cases where you half want to promote the employee for sheer ingenuity.