civil society working group on state capture

The Judicial Commission into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector Including Organs of State (known as the Zondo Commission) was established in January 2018 and began its hearings in August 2018. Judge Raymond Zondo is the presiding judge of this commission which focusses on the most recent phase of state capture.

Realising the need for active engagement by civil society, more than 20 non-governmental organisations met on 10 September 2018 in Johannesburg and emerged as the Civil Society Working Group on State Capture. This informal and open coalition is both supportive of the commission’s work and, where necessary, critical of its shortcomings. The Working Group members make evidence-based submissions intended to test the resolve of the commission to fully investigate and expose state capture networks and ensure accountability for related crimes. The coalition’s work is supported by a collective advocacy strategy which will culminate in a People’s Hearing on State Capture, to be held at Constitution Hill on 12 October 2019.

Open Secrets acts as the secretariat of the Civil Society Working Group on State Capture.

civil society submissions to zondo commission


AIDC: The Tax Consequences of State Capture and Reform Proposals

by Dominic Brown and Erwan Malary

The submission draws from the Nugent Commission of Inquiry, evaluates the consequences and causes of the capture of tax institutions not merely as a matter of bad individuals but as matter of weak institutions.


State capture and the political manipulation of criminal justice agencies

by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Corruption Watch

This joint submission is concerned with the manipulation of criminal justice agencies by the Executive under the administration of former president Jacob Zuma. This manipulation was a critical factor in entrenching state capture.


Equal Education, the Equal Education Law Centre & SECTION27

This joint submission focuses specifically on issues related to the misappropriation and
misuse of public funds which should have been geared towards the provision of basic


OUTA State Capture Portfolio

OUTA’s State Capture Portfolio addresses the performance of Government, its respective departments and its state owned entities in the delivery of service to society.

OUTA's submissions are on Home Affairs, Eskom and Denel


Appointment of board directors to state-owned enterprises

by the Dullah Omar Institute

The DOI submission argues SOE Boards represent both a critical layer of accountability and oversight over the entities’ administration and the all-important link between the state and the SOEs.


South African Faith Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI) – Nuclear Energy

This submission argues that major energy procurement projects need independent oversight at all stages – pre-procurement, procurement and post-procurement – to prevent further state capture.

people's hearing on state capture

The People’s Hearing on State Capture, held on the 12th of October 2019 at Constitution Hill, was a public forum where members of the public, community leaders and activists were invited to reflect on the impact of state capture, either in person or through videos. Alongside this, documentary shorts produced by civil society organisations formed part of the evidence heard on people’s experiences of state capture.

This civil society hearing was not intended to detract from the work of the Zondo Commission. Rather it served as a powerful reminder that state capture has left ordinary people poorer. The People’s Hearing supported efforts to hold the beneficiaries of this form of corruption – in both business and the state – to account through legal mechanisms such as the Zondo Commission on State Capture.

This hearing was organised by the Civil Society Working Group on State Capture.

judges panel

nonhle mbhutuma

Nonhle Mbuthuma is a human rights defender working for indigenous peoples’ rights, land rights, and environmental rights in the Xolobeni region of the Eastern Cape. She is also the founder and spokesperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee who advocate the communities’ ‘Right to Say No’ to mining corporates as per the landmark Xolobeni judgement.

nomboniso gasa

Nomboniso Gasa is an Adjunct Professor at School of Public Law at University of Cape. She is Senior Research Associate at UCT. Her work focussed on Land, Politics, Gender and Cultural issues. Prof. Gasa has a long history in political and womens rights activism extending before the dawn of democracy in South Africa. She has published widely, in newspapers & academic journals.

yasmin sooka

Yasmin Sooka currently chairs the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. She’s a former member of the South African & the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. Sooka is a leading transitional justice expert and has served as a member of several panels including the  UCT Institutional Reconciliation and Transformation Commission(IRTC), the Secretary General’s Panel investigating sexual violence by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic,  UN Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka and is the former Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa.

short documentaries


#DearJudgeZondo, is the social media campaign linked to the People’s Hearing. It is an open call for the public (on social media) to send Judge Zondo/ the State Capture Inquiry their demands, reflections, hopes for the State Capture Inquiry. The tweets/ posts/ videos and photos posted using the hashtag will be used at the People’s Hearing on the 12th of October.