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Press Release

SA’s ranking as ‘paradise for gangsters’ must serve as a wake-up call

Wednesday 27 September 2023 – A DAMNING new report that exposes South Africa as a global hotspot for organised crime must serve as a wake-up call for legislators, law enforcement agencies and anyone concerned with the future of our nation, Tax Justice SA (TJSA) warns today.

South Africa has the third-highest rating for criminality in Africa – behind only Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria – on the Global Organised Crime Index 2023.

“The country is an undeniable criminality outlier within Southern Africa, tangibly bringing up the average criminality score for the region,” says the report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GITOC), a Geneva-based NGO.

TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee says: “This report is a damning indictment of those responsible for upholding the rule of law in South Africa.

“Our nation has now earned the title of one of the most criminal and corrupt countries in the world.

“A lack of political will, coupled with corruption and incompetence at the highest level, have turned South Africa into a paradise for gangsters.

“Organised crime networks are impoverishing Mzansi and threatening the peace and security of citizens in a country which should be an economic powerhouse and a leader in social justice.”

The GI-TOC report says South Africa is now a magnet for illicit money from the rest of Africa as our “advanced economy and sophisticated financial infrastructure make it a prime spot for foreign proceeds of crime on the continent”.

“As the Gold Mafia investigation showed, transnational organised crime networks are exploiting sectors like South Africa’s rampant illicit cigarette market to amass vast fortunes at the expense of honest, hard-working citizens,” says Abramjee.

“Politicians are now planning to hand even more of this cigarette market to gangsters via new tobacco laws that bear no relation to the realities of life in our country.

“Instead of concocting new legislation that will be ignored by professional criminals, our leaders should be enforcing current laws, locking up organised crime kingpins and distributing their illegally captured wealth for the benefit of all.

“Every South African concerned for the future of our country should be saying, ‘Enough is enough: we don’t want to live in fear of gangsters and we demand that our Government respects the rule of law, shuts down their criminal operations and locks them up’.”