It is exhausting yet strangely exhilarating to watch the #StateCapture saga unfold. From the revelations four years ago about the Waterkloof Airbase being used by the Gupta family , and the many, many iterations and amplifications of improprieties and alleged corruption that have ensued in the interim. Unethical and harmful actions and inactions that significantly threaten South Africa’s economic, social and environmental sustainability. Then of course *cough* there is that small matter that precedes all of this – Jacob Zuma’s interesting relationship with Schabir Shaik.
Over the past couple of years, South Africans have been informed by Vytjie Mentor, Mcebisi Jonas, and a number of other whistle-blowers – people such as Themba Maseko as well as the ‘state capture whistle blower‘ (see also this article on Trillian); – about alleged attempts to influence governance and ministries by the Gupta family and their companies as well as supply alleged insider information on #NeneGate among other happenings and misdeeds.
The State of Capture Report, compiled by the outgoing Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, alleges serious corruption at various State owned Enterprises (SoEs) – news that has apparently been supported by numerous reports over the months – reports compiled by the ‘uncaptured’ media and also a fascinating and revealing report by a group of academics entitled “Betrayal Of The Promise: How South Africa Is Being Stolen“.
Now the leaked Gupta emails!
All of them. Hundreds of thousands of emails that appear to have been communications between the Guptas – and/or their representatives – and an incredible array of top government officials, ministers and even Jacob Zuma’s children. Possible proof of Dubai connections and residences, possible proof of insider information, possible proof of gross interference in confidential government affairs by an extended syndicate. All this, yet so much more. Already the denials are flooding in, Malusi Gigaba, Collen Maine, and co. are hotly and flatly denying the information. The Gupta’s ex-spindoctors, Bell Pottinger, have been extremely quiet on the matter, despite what appears to be some rather damning email evidence of their alleged complicity in a number of aspects of state capture.
Already so many connections and confirmations have been made through the information contained in this extensive leak of information. One might reasonably expect that the Public Protector (PP), the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA), and the other various agencies of state would be hard at work preparing charge sheets and a number of folks would be getting arrested. But, NOPE! The NPA and PP are conspicuous by their absence. Missing in action other than for thinly veiled threats against whistle-blowers and mutters about prosecuting those responsible for the Gupta email leaks.
Where to from here? Wait for 2019? Hope that the uncaptured media and the various uncaptured politicians remain strong in the face of a relentless and syndicated effort to break down the lawful governance of this beautiful country?
I think not. Hope hasn’t helped us thus far – and it is hardly likely to help now. It must be time for action.
This is a time to pull together – stronger than before. A time to work towards an ethical governance of this country. There is a long road ahead. My gratitude and wishes for strength go to those who presently are fulfilling the work that should be carried out by our government. These are the journalists and investigators who are tirelessly pursuing the manifold webs of deceit, corruption and lies that have captured our country.
We must attempt – as voices raised in writing and on the streets – to get those in the government who are not yet captured, to heed the call. To hop off the fence and to stand together for justice and rightful governance. Many have already shown their allegiance to this country and their dissatisfaction with the state of capture. Make their voices strong by supporting their quest for true justice and sound governance.
Whistle-blowers unite! Send your information to the Mail & Guardian’s investigative unit Amabhungane. I wish that I could suggest you contact the Public Protector – but sadly someone else got there first!
Aluta continua! Let us work together towards a society that spends its budget on eradicating poverty – focuses on rapidly narrowing the inequality gap – and actively serves all the needs of its poorest citizens with as much fervour as they deserve!
Unlike the incumbent – and thoroughly inept – president of this country, let’s put South Africa FIRST!
Header image: From the State of Capture report (2016)