South Africa 3.9.2018 06:01 am

Global experts commend SA for state capture probe

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo returns from the recess during the first day of proceedings at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture held in Johannesburg, 20 August 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo returns from the recess during the first day of proceedings at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture held in Johannesburg, 20 August 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

International experts say they know of no other country that has taken such a systematic approach to understanding state capture.

As the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture enters its third week today, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is expected to make an important ruling on applications made by the lawyers for implicated individuals in connection with the cross-examination of witnesses.

Several people, who include former president Jacob Zuma, his former aide Lakela Kaunda, Ajay Gupta, suspended Hawks senior official Zinhle Mnonopi and colleague Alois Mtolo, are among those implicated by testimonies made by witnesses in the inquiry.

Commission chairperson Zondo has warned that those implicated who are seeking to cross-examine witnesses should also expect a grilling by the inquiry.

Hawks anticorruption task team unit head Mnonopi was implicated by former finance deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas in his evidence last week for attempting “to kill” a case in which Ajay Gupta was accused of attempting to bribe Jonas with R600 million and a Cabinet post.

Acting Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) CEO Phumla Williams will today continue her testimony.

The work of the commission has been commended by two international experts on state capture – Daniel Kaufmann and Joel Hellman – who have made a submission to the inquiry on global trends in state capture.

“We would like to commend this commission for undertaking this comprehensive investigation of the phenomenon of state capture, as it relates to South Africa. “

Though state capture is a significant challenge across both developed and developing countries, we know of no other country that has taken such a systematic approach to understanding [it]”.

“We believe that this is a critical foundation for developing effective strategies to combat state capture,” Kaufmann and Hellman said in their submission.

State capture, said the experts, was “a major systemic challenge, closely linked to institutional and governance deficiencies and failures”.

They added: “There are always corrupt individuals on both sides of the state capture relationship.”

– brians@citizen.co.za

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