PhD Study Contributes to the Fight Against Corruption in SA
Corruption plagues many public sector departments resulting in the slow pace of service delivery to the detriment of vulnerable and marginalised citizens in South Africa.
With this in mind, Port Shepstone lawyer Dr Prenisha Sugudhav-Sewpersad began research for her Law doctorate aimed at contributing to the fight against corruption within the public procurement sector in South Africa.
“Corruption and the Law: An Evaluation of the Legislative Framework for Combating Public Procurement Corruption in South Africa”, was the title of Sugudhav-Sewpersad’s study supervised by Professor John C Mubangizi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies.
She says that while the South African government is doing a lot to try to meet its constitutional obligation of efficient service delivery, her time in the public sector brought her face to face with some ugly truths.
‘Corruption within the public sector and specifically within public procurement is not surprising. I have seen how corrupt acts negatively affect the lives of innocent people, who depend on a clean and honest public sector.
‘While I am under no illusion that my study is the panacea for public procurement corruption, I am sure it can find some small and meaningful part in the broader fight against the problem. In this way, I would have gone a long way in fulfilling my calling as a lawyer,’ said Sugudhav-Sewpersad.
She has started sharing findings of her study through participation in various forums including the 2016 eThekwini University Research Symposium held in Durban earlier this year where she presented a paper on anti-corruption agencies, with a proposal for the City of Durban to spearhead the establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency.
‘My paper looked at the iconic Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption and my proposal was highlighted as one of the top 10 issues emanating from the Symposium,’ she said.
‘Although I am a practising attorney, I intend to maintain and strengthen my ties with the academic world. I want to continue working with my supervisor in the publication of works pertaining to my area of expertise.’
Pleased with Sugudhav-Sewpersad’s achievements, Mubangizi said: ‘It was a fulfilling experience to work with such a committed and diligent student and I look forward to assisting on her project with the Municipal Institute of Learning.’