Those who engage in fraud, corruption and money laundering should read the high court in Pretoria's judgment delivered last week.
Judge Sulet Potterill meted out hefty sentences to a group of mostly academics who defrauded the South African Revenue Service of about R11million. They manipulated the tender process for training at Sars to ensure they got the tender. Three of the five accused will spend 15 years in jail.
In the past, the punishment for white-collar crime made the “game seem worth the candle”, as phrased by an earlier Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment. But that is over. In certain cases white-collar criminals are dealt with more harshly than murder accused.
Judge Potterill said: “So-called white-collar crime, involving the abuse of officials or corporate offices for dishonest exploitation of the opportunities to profit in modern business, commercial and industrial practices is detrimental to the state, the consumer and the taxpayer.”