Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the revelations of the sinister net the Gupta family has spread across the blighted face of this country is that privileged information is available at a price.
The latest shock to emerge from the leaked Gupta e-mails reveals the existence of a spreadsheet plotting the movements and personal details of top bank executives since 2015, when the financial institutions first began to start blocking the Gupta family’s accounts.
According to the Sunday Times, among those listed are Absa CEO Maria Ramos and her husband, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, the founders of Rand Merchant Bank GT Ferreira, Paul Harris and Laurie Dippenaar, and Investec CEO Stephen Koseff. This is nothing short of scandalous.
The information contained is privileged and details of movement through ports of entry is considered so confidential that a court order is a prerequisite.
But should we really be surprised? It has already been revealed that the Guptas have received special favours from civil servants at home affairs, including the former minister, Malusi Gigaba.
The workings of a part of the security cluster was also shown to be risible with the revelations this weekend that new acting crime intelligence head Major-General Pat Mokushane, who was appointed two weeks ago, has a criminal record, allegedly ran his private companies from his office and had an affair with a subordinate officer’s wife.
Mokushane is also reliably identified as a member “in good standing” with the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association.
Taken together, the leaked e-mails and the fingers being pointed at Mokushane would point to an intelligence system with some significant weak points ready to be exploited by those with the means and unscrupulousness to do so.
But in the prevailing atmosphere of self-serving corruption, we have to ask why would we be surprised? Anything can be bought.