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My name is Kait Bolongaro and I am an award-winning journalist. My work has been published by Al-Jazeera English, BBC, The Guardian, NPR, VICE, Deutsche Welle and the Middle East Eye. I’ve covered politics, science, business, human rights and the environment from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
In 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) promised that the end of apartheid would usher in a new era of equality, justice and fairness in South Africa. While the racial oppression and poverty have since eased, the New York Times reports that corruption has propped up Nelson Mandela’s political heirs, mostly at the expense of black South Africans.
Instead, the reporters uncovered evidence that tens of billions of dollars of public money have been siphoned off by the ANC, the party’s supporters and its business allies from projects that were supposed to help lift South Africans out of poverty. The scale of corruption has stripped away funding from critical infrastructure, education and health initiatives, leaving the country vulnerable.
Perhaps most shockingly, the authors write that inequality has actually grown since the end of apartheid. These figures have left some South Africans disillusioned with the current state of their country, which is often held up as an example for the rest of the continent.
This article traces the depth of corruption in modern South Africa by connecting the parts of a puzzle that isn't intended to be in the public eye.