Role models play an exceptionally important part in the life of a young person. Young people relate to, admire and, in many cases, imitate their role models during the most impressionable years of their lives. In South Africa, poor conduct by some among the political elite has left many young people disillusioned by mainstream politics. For others, however, corrupt and self-serving behaviour is viewed with approval and aspiration. This paints a concerning picture for the future of our country.