If South Africa has anything like a national moral compass, someone will try to steal it or sell it. It is disturbing that many believe in the old saying “finder’s keepers”.
So, we saw university student Sibongile Mani spending more than R800 000 of the R14 million which was allegedly deposited irregularly into her student loan account.
Her comrades, as well as people commenting on talk shows and on Twitter, have defended her by saying that, because the payment error was not hers, she should not be held accountable.
Then, we had the spectacle of people from a village near Rustenburg descending like vultures on the wreckage of a security company vehicle that had just been held up and blown apart in a cash-intransit heist.
The 10 armed robbers disappeared with the bulk of the loot, but there were still bank notes fluttering around the vehicle. And people dived in to help themselves.
There were those who justified the looting by saying these were poor people and the victims (anonymous companies perhaps) were rich – and also insured.
Both acts, let us be absolutely clear, are illegal in terms of common law. Do not complain about corruption and state capture if you excuse them.