The rich can’t steal, right?

Can people be too rich to steal or act in a corrupt manner? ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe suggested this was true of Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected president of the ANC, when he said: “We have a president who has money, who’s wealthy, who will not be tempted to steal … If he steals, we will ask him ‘Why do you steal, because you have enough?’”

More recently, Huffington Post South Africa editor-at-large Ferial Haffajee argued that former Shoprite chief executive officer Whitey Basson should lead Eskom, in part because “He’s so rich, he won’t steal”.

This echoes the views expressed by CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, who was an informal adviser to US President Donald Trump’s team for months. Kudlow wrote for the National Review, “Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption.”

The flawed belief that the rich don’t steal and aren’t corrupt shows just how limited the

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