“People see corruption as a political disease, like only politicians are corrupt,” she said at a Diakonia Council of Churches function in Durban on Friday night.
“What about the public servants. For example, what about the engineers that certify that construction on shoddily built RDP [Reconstruction and Development Programme] houses has been completed according to specifications?”
This did not mean corruption did not exist in civil society.
“In fact, quite the opposite, we have corruption in the public sector because there is corruption in civil society,” she said.
“Otherwise, who corrupts those who exercise public power? Furthermore, people in the public sector are members of all our communities.”
Madonsela said the religious community had a role to play in combating the “twin evils” of maladministration and corruption.
With the likes of Dr Beyers Naude and Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa involved in the liberation struggle, Madonsela urged the cloth to get more involved in defeating the challenges to South Africa’s young democracy.