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By Editorial staff

Journalist


The horrors of looting, down to the cent

State capture is the Robin Hood Principle turned on its head: robbing the poor to enrich a family of leeches.


South Africa is probably the only place on the planet where comedy and tragedy are so interchangeable: sometimes our tragedy can seem comical and our comedy takes on an edge of hurt. That’s why it was difficult not to break into a small chuckle at forensic evidence yesterday at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture – from Shadow World Investigations researcher Paul Holden – that the estimated “total funds disbursed by organs of state in expenditure tainted by state capture” was the sum of R49 157 323 233.68. 68 cents? It’s difficult not to laugh at the precise –…

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South Africa is probably the only place on the planet where comedy and tragedy are so interchangeable: sometimes our tragedy can seem comical and our comedy takes on an edge of hurt.

That’s why it was difficult not to break into a small chuckle at forensic evidence yesterday at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture – from Shadow World Investigations researcher Paul Holden – that the estimated “total funds disbursed by organs of state in expenditure tainted by state capture” was the sum of R49 157 323 233.68.

68 cents?

It’s difficult not to laugh at the precise – and minute – nature of the decimals at the end of the amount, which is R49 billion, rounded off to the nearest billion.

It’s a bit like being washed off your feet by a tsunami and noticing a crab drifting past your face underwater…

The exact nature of the numbers, though, does serve to emphasise the horror of the scale of the looting which occurred under Zuma’s watch.

That money could have built a lot of houses, hospitals and schools and kept food on a lot of tables through the basic income grant.

This is the Robin Hood Principle turned on its head: robbing the poor to enrich a family of leeches.

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