Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
26 Jul 2018
10:26 am

WATCH: Don’t call it a comeback – state capture never went away

Daniel Friedman

Findings of the state capture inquiry may be delayed by two years, while a report on looting at Estina farm and a new study show that state capture is still on the agenda.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo during a media briefing in which members of the Commission of Enquiry into Allegations of State Capture were introduced to the media at the offices of the Chief Justice in Midrand on 7 March 2018. Picture: Neil McCartney

Researchers from Stellenbosch University have released a study on “the shadow state” and how it operates, EWN has reported.

It cites the recent SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants scandal under former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini’s watch as an example of how state-owned entities can be captured.

According to the study, the situation with grant payments occurred not because of incompetence, but because of a strategic attempt to capture Sassa for political ends.

Head of the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition professor Mark Swilling said: “Why go to such lengths politically, legally, institutionally, including moving skilled people out, to favour one company?”

The report alleged the Sassa debacle saw a state institution being repurposed for the manipulation of voters rather than just financial gain.

Swilling told Talk Radio 702 on Thursday: “CPS is actually the culprit in manipulating the weakness of the state and the incompetence in the minister’s office to secure an advantageous contract for itself.”

READ MORE: Sanco disappointed at extension of state capture inquiry

Meanwhile, lobby group Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) wants answers as to why deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo is seeking a two-year extension for the completion of the state capture commission of inquiry’s work.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Zondo had secured an interim court order to extend the deadline.

Casac executive secretary Lawson Naidoo is questioning whether Zondo has provided enough grounds for why such an extension is necessary.

READ MORE: Wierzycka threatens to expose Gupta-linked SAP for ‘lecturing’ her on her tone

“In the absence of that detail being provided, we need to be careful not to be giving the commission into state capture a blind cheque to run for a long time and allow people who have been implicated in the state capture to get away with it,” Naidoo said.

He added Casac did not want to see the inquiry drag on for years as the Marikana commission of inquiry had.

“Several years after the report of that inquiry, we’re still waiting to the implementation into the recommendations of that matter, and we’re certainly don’t want to go down that road again.”

Zondo said the extension was necessary, as the commission had just started its work and the 180-day time frame was nearing expiry.

An eNCA feature released on Thursday morning follows the trail of the Estina Dairy Project.

The feature details how farmers were lied to and tax money was looted during the project, which was supposed to uplift locals.

#StateCapture was trending on Twitter on Thursday morning largely due to the report, in yet another sign that South Africa’s attempts to find out the truth and reverse the effects of state capture will extend far beyond Jacob Zuma’s presidency.