A high court judgment instructing former Eskom boss Brian Molefe to return R10.3 million in pension benefits demonstrates the dominoes on the state capture table falling one by one.
According to commentators, those implicated in state capture should find themselves hot under the collar as more accountability is called for under the leadership of new ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The dominoes are falling. This is the result of change leadership that is removing the barriers of protection,” Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse chairperson Wayne Duvenage said.
“Those that are implicated in state capture are now being dealt with either through the courts, the Asset Forfeiture Unit or the new boards that are coming to sweep clean. We are going to see many wealthy people who have benefited from corruption and state capture being held accountable in the next few years. This is a watershed year for South Africa.”
This included those in top positions, such as Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who allowed state capture shenanigans to continue under her watch, he said.
“The overarching issue here is that under Brown’s watch we have had all these wrongdoings. “And when these matters are challenged in courts, we see rational thinking applied. One has to wonder why isn’t she taking advice from legal experts and advisors and putting her foot down? It’s clearly evident that these are golden handshakes and undue enrichment.
These executives spend a short period of time with the organisation and leave under a cloud – without having done great work.
“It points to poor leadership from Brown and the board, who are behind payouts. It’s shocking. But what is good, is civil society and political parties are bringing these matters to court and are being rewarded with these judgments, which send a clear message to those in authority and in power that enough is enough now.”
Those in cahoots and who bowed down to President Jacob Zuma and the Guptas had another thing coming, said Duvenage.
“He has no one to protect him any more and you can already see people turning their backs and starting to speak out against corruption. These are people whose attitudes were very brazen and nonchalant in the past.”
There is still more hard evidence to tackle against names within Eskom that have not yet surfaced, he claimed.
Political analyst Daniel Silke said Eskom’s decline had been a long time coming, with a culture of impunity having played out under the Zuma administration.
“Heads will roll in the near future and as soon as Ramaphosa gets his hands on the leaders of the state, this is when one can expect a major reshuffle of the Cabinet and cleansing of those who should have taken accountability before, but have held onto their jobs.”