Why an empty bowl you ask? For us it symbolises how so many are forced to go without as a result of the greed that traps people into falling prey to corruption. So many suffer for the misdeeds of others. Why is this? It is precisely this attitude of: "It does not effect me so why should I get involved!" It effects everyone! We all need to get involved - for the sake of our children's well-being and many generations to follow. Here is our story.
I am a family man who dared to break the mould on the stereotype of how a South African is perceived. My family and I made the decision not to sit idly by and be part of the problem, but rather be part of a possible solution. I am the most proud father - having taught my children that Integrity, Honour, Faith and your values and beliefs should never be sold or bought - no matter the cost. It should never be compromised! I stand tall as a proud Son of Africa!!
We reported dealings of corruption and misconduct involving Landbank officials and other institutions. We are in the firm belief that when one is in the Public Office - it is for service to the people and not self service! Though our decision has led us to severe suffering and hardship, we remain steadfast in our stand to combat corruption and to see justice done. We strive to put into action a system of good governance that works for the good of all people and try to encourage others to do the same!
"The well-being of our Nation and our country as a whole should not necessarily be judged on the strength of the Rand against the Dollar or Pound, or whether our shares do well on the world's stock markets, but should be judged on its most important commodity - its people. The most precious of all our natural resources - Our Children!" - Marko and Debbie Vogler
Sadly we are failing at the above sentiment as the direct action needed to secure the futures of our children and our people as a whole is not being taken seriously or not being considered at all, when one considers that the companies and people of influence that should be driving change, remain positively numb to the effects of corruption and crime as a whole! Have we as a nation become desensitized to the negative effects of corruption and crime or do we as a society just accept it as part of our lives? I think not! I truly believe that we owe it to one another we owe it to our children and to the people of this country to take up the good fight. To make those voices heard. It's when that sad lonely voice cries out at night and is not heard that it remains but a sad lonely voice! Add many a voice and those cries become one of joyous celebration at what will become a positive for change. Again I ask you to join your voice to mine and let not my actions and that of my family be in vain or for nought. The fight against corruption will not be won by policies and procedures but by many individuals uniting in the common goal and drive to eradicate the negative effects that corruption has.
Is now not the perfect time for us to guard against corruption and corrupt officials? Do you honestly think that corruption stops or even slows down due to our current economic state? It is a continuous disgrace that billions are pilfered every year from the taxpayer. Let us not forget that corruption cares not for colour, creed or religion. It affects everyone!!
In the words of TI Chair, Huguette Labelle:-
"Fighting corruption requires more than tools and programmes; it requires role models who inspire. Transparency International's Integrity Awards highlight the role models who have demonstrated a commitment to their values and beliefs by their courageous actions. Integrity awards winners provide a sense of hope and empowerment - they demonstrate that it is possible for ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Integrity awards winners are the heroes of the fight against corruption. "
Are you an individual that stands for Integrity and Honour? Are you an individual that is committed to your values and beliefs? I hope so!
All we ask is that you support our initiative .The support and encouragement that we receive from civil society, enables us to go out there and change mind sets and nurture that spirit that has made this country great! My wife and I are completely dedicated to making a difference and are willing to dedicate our lives to making those changes. Our initiative to encourage and motivate our youth and our policy makers - those that have it in their grasp to institute change, will continue. Our character and integrity, our motives are beyond reproach. And our commitment to our country and its people is unwavering.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)
What we strive to achieve is to implant in our youth a desire to practise good sound morals and judgement. To be pro-active in standing tall and proud because of values that uplifts them and not degrades them. Now is the time more than ever to inspire a generation of future leaders in business fields, political and in the home. Our youth all need role models that they admire and aspire to be like - let these role models rather be ones that are committed to positive change for all.
We have embarked on a lifestyle of speaking out against corruption and the manner in which it destroys lives. From the simple things to the really far reaching. We believe that it is tantamount that our youth know and understand that there are always alternatives as well as people and organisations that they can turn to without fear of victimisation or intimidation. There are presently some organisations in place for people to report crime etc. (where you can report crime for a fee via sms), but we believe that this then makes it a privilege and not a right! We are currently working together with various organisations to put into place structures that would make this more accessible to everyone. Our main aim however is to change those mind sets to encourage and motivate others to take a similar stand as we did, to get involved. Get motivated Get involved
Our journey has been very challenging and incredibly difficult at times, but has also brought us tremendous honour. My husband has been nominated for an Integrity Award through Transparency International and we have also received numerous letters of endorsement from many organisations commending the stand we have taken. The honour we as a family feel for taking the stand we did, should be felt by as many South Africans as possible. We have been invited to participate in a few seminars highlighting the effects of corruption and making your stand as an individual and as a nation. We have had numerous interviews with the various forms of media - with great success. We have done radio interviews as well as print media articles. We continue to receive input and requests from them. The media have been 100% on board and in support of us. The media has a critical role to play, not only in exposing corruption, but also to give support to those who take a proactive position in the fight against corruption.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT TFAC
To encourage interaction, education and awareness on all levels of our natural diversity, promoting understanding and caring in society. Fostering the need for high standards of moral and ethical integrity, nurturing individual growth, and respect for others and a deeper appreciation for one's individuality. The freedom from victimisation and intimidation and the right to say NO
We are doing all we can to make ourselves heard and stand proudly as being pro-active. It is up to you now to make your choices. Let them count!!
Special word of thanks to those who have been in support of us and the Fight Against Corruption:
Sentigol - Alliance Partner
Transparency International SA The Public Protector Judge Mervyn King Real Life Concepts Hospitality Affairs Heart Lines Business Against Crime Democratic Alliance Inkatha Freedom Party African Christian Democratic Party Freedom Front The Sunday Times Cape Regional Chamber of Commerce United Democratic Movement. Reggies Toys R Us YFM Landbou Weekblad Cape Talk Christian Democratic Alliance Vodacom Unashamedly Ethical Farmers Weekly Valley FM MRM PTA Rekord Newspaper
And to all our friends and family " Thank you for all your love and support. You have been the pillar of strength that has kept us going. " To all of you that support us - we are eternally grateful. You make it so much easier to continue and worthwhile when times are hard. You give us the courage to follow through on our convictions by believing in us.
So Please stay updated and visit as often as possible.
Look out for our quarterly newsletter " Worth Your Salt "
Corruption is essentially termed as an " impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principle; depravity, decay, and/or an inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means, a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct, and/or an agency or influence that corrupts " -Wikipedia
Some new developments: T.F.A.C. is the first South African organisation to be officially listed as Members with UNCAC (United Nations Covention Against Corruption) Co-alition - a noteable achievement!
T.F.A.C. (The Fight Against Corruption) is now also a registered Trust - IT 1373/2009..
Should you wish to make any contribution to us continuing our work in fighting corruption, please feel free to make use of our Trust Account Banking details:
Standard Bank (South Africa) Branch - Bayside (022209) Acc No. 271106409 Cheque Account Acc Name - T.F.A.C. (The Fight Against Corruption)
If have any comments or suggestions or know of any corruption taking place, please feel free to contact us. WE CAN HELP!