A nation starved of justice

by Kris Dobie | Published on 26 September 2017 for The Ethics Institute monthly newsletter, along with a press release

South Africans are angry. And South Africans are hungry for justice. As a society, we have had to endure a significant amount of frustration at the lack of accountability from a clearly corrupt cabal of individuals who have plundered state resources for their own ends for several years.

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Restoring Trust Beyond State Capture

by Prof Deon Rossouw | Published on 25 August 2017 for The Ethics Institute monthly newsletter, along with a press release version on 28 August 2017

Ethics is a precondition for safe, just, and prosperous societies. This truism has been proven with the current siege of South Africa by state capture. If ethics is not embedded in society and in organisations, the inevitable result is a breakdown of prosperity, justice and safety. We saw this happening to South Africa under Apartheid, and we are seeing it now again with state capture.

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"Get the ethics right, and you will always be compliant"

by Liezl Groenewald | Published on 25 July 2017 for The Ethics Institute monthly newsletter

Companies the world over often struggle to balance ethics and compliance. Those that are regulated often see compliance as pre-eminent. Yet many have come to recognise that to build a positive corporate culture it is important to establish the right mindset. That mindset, which should be based on an ethical framework of corporate values to guide decisions and behaviours, will be encouraged by the creation of a separate ethics function and will lead to better compliance as a result.

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Thoughts on Peace Building

Liezl Groenewald recently attended the 7th Annual Conference of the International Society for Military Ethics in Europe (EuroISME).  The theme of the conference ‘Restraint in War: Essential for a Just Peace?’ lent itself to interesting discussions about the relation between restrained behaviour on the battlefield and ius post bellum (conduct after war)

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Leadership Derailment

In the last few articles, we discussed “toxic leadership” (also referred to as destructive leadership) and presented their characteristics, as well as the characteristics of their followers and colluders.  However, toxic leaders are relatively rare. It is estimated that approximately 3 to 5% of the general population have psychopathic/sociopathic tendencies. Even fewer of these individuals are high-functioning enough to enter positions of power and survive political processes in organisations. More often, destructive leadership is confused with psychopathy/sociopathy. In fact, all leaders have destructive tendencies to some extent and often these tendencies are not related to sociopathy/psychopathy, but rather, to general personality characteristics.

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Toxic Leadership: Protecting the Organisation from Toxic Leaders and Colluders

In the article entitled “What are the characteristics that define toxic leadership” we speculated about the nature of Zuma and whether he fits the mould of a toxic leader. In light of recent developments, it becomes hard not to admit that Zuma has the characteristics of a toxic leader of which the defining characteristic is the damage he has done to the South African economy (toxic leaders tend to harm over the long-term).

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Toxic Leadership: The Characteristics of Colluders

In the last article on toxic leadership, we delved into the characteristics of susceptible followers. In this article, Dr Paul Vorster looks a little more closely at colluders and differentiates them from susceptible followers by understanding their motivations and describing their behaviours.

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Toxic Leadership: Characteristics of susceptible followers

It is interesting that toxic leaders are able to entrench themselves so quickly in organisations. If we look at some toxic leaders from the past it becomes evident that these individuals could never have reached the heights of their power without a solid follower base and colluders who helped them to meet their goals and gain power.

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Not a headline

This is a “how-to” on keeping your organization's ethics problems out of the headlines - not by hiding them from view but by preventing them from getting big enough to be "newsworthy". 

 ©Frank J Navran

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15th Annual BEN-Africa Conference held in Stellenbosch

BEN-Africa held its 15th annual Conference on Governance, ethics and African development, at STIAS, Stellenbosch from 9 to 10 November, in conjunction with KPMG-SA.

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2016 seminar on Chinese language and culture for south to south cooperation from developing countries.

The Ethics Institute was provided with an opportunity to have a representative of the organisation attend a three-week seminar in Beijing, China, sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.

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What are the characteristics that define toxic leadership?

In South Africa, citizens are struggling with general corruption among its ruling elite and everyone it appears are on a veritable witch-hunt for corrupt leaders in the country after the publication of Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report. For these reasons and many others, it becomes important to ask a few questions.


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