SA’s multibillion-rand "strategic defence package" — better known as the arms deal — was finally paid off towards the end of last year, 21 years after the deal was signed. But its ghost will haunt SA for years to come, for this was the point where politics properly muddied the criminal justice system.

The arms deal, in this sense, was SA’s "original sin", cementing the way for the decay of the country’s criminal justice system, along with that of its institutions of accountability — from parliament to the offices of the auditor-general, the public protector and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)...

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