CORRUPTION, money laundering, tax evasion, corporate fraud, suspect transfers and human trafficking continues to drain billions from African countries.
This leads to governments being unable to meet the daily needs of the people.
Imagine what $50 billion, which leaves the continent illegally every year, could do for Africa – it could improve healthcare, develop education, offer welfare and support infrastructure development.
In Mzansi, patients are turned away from hospitals almost daily because medication has run out, or there are not enough beds to accommodate them, or they lack proper staff.
The same can be said of our poor roads, riddled with potholes, that help kill more than 30 people daily but remain unfixed.
The Thabo Mbeki High Panel was formed to investigate the practice of moving money around illegally. It found that 5% of criminal finance is due to corruption, 35% to illegal activities and 65% to multinational corporations.
Max Goqwana of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation said this money would go far towards improving services and repaying Africa’s old debt.
“The mentality of the perpetrators is that this money does not belong here but belongs somewhere else.
“If lawyers, corrupt government officials, business people and tax officials behind this scourge are not stopped, what does it mean for the continent? There will be political, economic and social instability as Africa’s natural resources are depleted.”
Advocate Brian Kagoro spoke at the High Panel. He said: “I got involved in tax because I have an interest in taxation and justice so how people can benefit from the wealth of their countries.”
We need to be more vigilant of the contributions made by big companies with tenders to mine our resources.
“Those mines use dangerous chemicals and if those companies do not pay taxes by moving their money illegally, who bears the cost of the ill health those chemicals cause?
“With everyone reporting on the dodgy money moving around, we must be able to stop illicit finances the same way we managed to gain freedom.”