Editorial: Definition of state capture

State capture, noun: The efforts of a small number of people aiming to benefit from the illicit provision of private gains to public officials in order to profit from the workings of a government.

The power to appoint Cabinet ministers and the boards of state-owned enterprises comes standard.

It is evidenced in South Africa in the actions of members of the Gupta family of Saxonwold, Johannesburg. It is documented widely in the news that this family has amassed a fortune through businesses that have, at various times, intersected with the state — for example, the decimation of the state-owned power utility, Eskom, through a series of deals aimed principally to directly and indirectly benefit the Gupta family and their associates.

It is also evidenced in the inability of Eskom to do its job of providing safe, affordable, reliable electricity to all of South Africa.

More recently, it is evidenced in the testimony of Government Communication and Information System staff, who showed that the North West and Free State governments continued to direct millions of rands to the remnants of the Gupta media empire, which concluded the state’s R600-million advertising spend with the Gupta-owned media assets.

It is also evidenced in the rapid naturalisation of Gupta associates, particularly Ashu Chawla, who not only caught the express train (obviously not run by the Passenger Rail Authority of South Africa) to a South African ID but also managed to pose for an ID document wearing shades.

Caveat lector: Former president Jacob Zuma says state capture is political hocus pocus.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Seventeen people found dead in East London nightclub

At least 17 young people were found dead at a nightclub in a township in the southern city of East London on Sunday, police said

Gauteng ANC produces solid financials, feather in treasurer Parks Tau’s...

The provincial administration has, however, struggled to pay staff salaries

Zandile Tshabalala exhibits for the first time in SA with...

Pandering to the art world is no longer a prerequisite for success. Zandile Tshabalala has proved this in the last two years by exhibiting abroad before coming home

Rwanda refugees fear extradition from Mozambique

Mozambique and Rwanda’s new deal comes after 19 people ‘agreed’ to return home
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×