State Capture report a litmus test for political elites’ maturity in SA: Analyst

Senior research specialist in Democracy and Citizenship at the Human Sciences Research Council, Prof. Joleen Steyn Kotze says the release of the fifth and final instalment of the State Capture Report will be a litmus test for political elites’ maturity and commitment to the country’s democratic ideals.

The handover of the final part of the report was postponed again on Monday, marking the second delay after the Commission cited challenges last week.

Kotze says political leaders must exercise maturity as the process unfolds. “You know, I think if we look at the work of the Zondo commission and the very critical questions the state capture team was tasked to investigate. I think it is a good strategy to practice due diligence and it can take a little bit longer to make sure you have crossed all the eyes etc. Because we are talking about the high ranking political elite who are implicated in state capture.”

Parliament

Parliament is expected to feature prominently when the report is released on Wednesday. Former Speakers, Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise, as well as several other members of parliament, were among those who were called to give evidence before the commission.

In 2017, in one of the more significant rulings of the Constitutional Court in recent years, South Africa’s apex court found that parliament had failed to hold then-President Jacob Zuma to account. This was with regard to the use of public monies to build his compound at Nkandla. It is expected that parliament will once again find itself on the wrong side of the Zondo Commission.

“We can certainly expect that the report will cover the role of parliament in state capture. How and why parliament failed to react to evidence of state capture at the time. And in fact a significant part of the hearing focus on these failures. Parliament will certainly have to engage with that and particularly any findings CJ Zondo will make with regards to the functioning of parliament and in particular its oversight role,” says Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.

VIDEO: Release of final part of State Capture report expected on Wednesday: Dr Bernard Sebake:

Multinational companies

Whistleblowers and activists say big business shouldn’t be let off the hook in state capture scandal. Concerns that multinational companies have been able to escape heavy punishment when they’ve been implicated in corruption.

Alleged masterminds behind the state’s capture for their own benefit, Atul and Rajesh Gupta have since been arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The South African government is now attempting to extradite the two to account for their alleged involvement in fraud and corruption. However, there are concerns that the involvement of multinational companies in State capture is not properly highlighted.

Among the companies that were implicated are Bain, Glencore and others from countries such as China. Mining giant Glencore recently entered into an agreement with the auditor general in the US to pay a hefty fine after the company was implicated in fraud and corruption in different countries around the world.

However, a call to the United Kingdom to punish Bain has not yielded results.

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