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Law, Democracy and Development

On-line version ISSN 2077-4907
Print version ISSN 1028-1053


MUNYAI, Anzanilufuno  and  ASHUKEM, Jean-Claude N. The political economy of political corruption in 21st century Africa: Perspectives from Cameroon and South Africa. Law democr. Dev. [online]. 2023, vol.27, pp.330-359. ISSN 2077-4907.

AAFrom ancient to modern times, corruption has plagued human civilisation. Its existence confirms that it has been integrated into the social fabric of global society and become a vice of governance. Corruption has dual implications: the direct financial benefit for the perpetrators due to the misuse of entrusted power, which raises the issue of accountability; and the deprivation to society of the allocation of resources. Political corruption results in large amounts of public funds being systematically siphoned off at the expense of society, and against the dictates of the constitutional values of transparency and accountability. For South Africa and Cameroon, political corruption continues to impede growth and development, despite the prevalence of anti-corruption mechanisms in these countries. From a comparative perspective, we investigate the scale and consequence of political corruption in South Africa and Cameroon to analyse the existing anti-corruption mechanisms, strategies and regimes in the two countries in combatting political corruption. We further analyse how and to what extent courts, particularly the Special Crime Court in Cameroon, have been able to address the issue. Furthermore, we demonstrate the similarities between high-level abuse of power in South Africa and Cameroon, notwithstanding existing anticorruption mechanisms. We conclude that a proactive system of checks and balances is urgently required to quench the growing cancerous phenomenon of political corruption in Africa, specifically in Cameroon and South Africa.

Keywords : Cameroon; governance; transparency; accountability; political corruption; anti-corruption; South Africa.

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