The private actors and middlemen in South Africa and elsewhere who profit from state capture in South Africa and other African countries.

State Capture Profiteers

South Africa: State Capture Investigations

The enablers, conspirators and bad cops and lawyers

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State Capture in South Africa saw many public officials abuse their power and violate the law to facilitate the enrichment of a small cabal of individuals and entities. They would not have been successful if it were not for the private “enablers” – the banks, accounting firms, consultants, lawyers, and other professionals – that facilitated the criminal conduct that formed part of the state capture enterprise. These actors profited immensely from capture. It remains urgent that all these actors, public and private, are held accountable. To disrupt networks state capture, there needs to be a reckoning for those who have been implicated in the looting. The evidence exists. It is now up to the Hawks, NPA, and other regulators to do their jobs.
The Enablers: The bankers, accountants and lawyers
Wanted: The State Capture Conspirators
Bad Cops, Bad Lawyers: The Hawks and The NPA

Zimbabwe: Fronts, Fakes and Facades

How South African and Mauritian enablers helped move millions from Zimbabwe to Britain

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This report is the product of a collaborative investigation by The Sentry and Open Secrets. The report examines how a politically-connected oil tycoon in Zimbabwe moved suspect funds from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to the City of London using front companies, fake invoices, and offshore financial façades.

This story is about Zimbabwe, but it is also a story about the global financial economy that creates an enabling environment for state capture and the flow of funds out of the poorest countries in the Global South to offshore financial centres.

Gupta Tracker

Tracking SA’s state capture kingpins

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It has been months since the South African public has been updated on the government’s attempts to arrest or find the Guptas. The SSA and DIRCO have stonewalled our attempts to find answers and there seems to be an apathy to hold the architects of South African state capture accountable. The millions of South Africans who have suffered under the effects of state capture, deserve truth and justice. Open Secrets will be relentless in pursuing accountability.

While the authorities fumble about in extraditing the Guptas lets at least keep tabs on how they are spending all that looted South African cash.

The Corporations and Economic Crime Report

Corporate crime 101 in a short report


The Corporations and Economic Crime Report is a publication series by Open Secrets that delves into cases of private sector economic crime and corruption, and their impact on human rights. CECR explores the most egregious cases of economic crimes and corruption by private financial institutions, from apartheid to the present day. In doing so, we aim to highlight the key themes that link corporate criminality across these periods of time, focusing on the role of the private sector, a critical blind spot in the discourse around economic crime.

CECR volumes to date:

  • The Bankers
  • The Auditors
  • The Consultants

The Civil Society Working Group on State Capture

Coalition of +20 organisations


The Civil Society Working Group on State Capture is a coalition of over 23 civil society organisations. The mandate of the working group has been to both support and strengthen the work of the Zondo Commission (State Capture Commission of Inquiry) while maintaining oversight over the commission in the interests of the public. The working group has achieved this through various means using advocacy, engagement with the commission and by making over 15 evidence-based submissions to the commission.

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

The People's Hearing on State Capture

Putting the people’s voices first

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The People’s Hearing on State Capture was held on the 12th of October 2019 at Constitution Hill. Organised by the CSWG, the hearing 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.

The hearing 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.


Fix Prasa Now!

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Corruption has a direct impact on the lives of people in South Africa. The link between corruption and lived experience is nowhere more obvious than the erosion of passenger train services in South Africa. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA) service has declined so dramatically over the last decade, the majority of working-class South Africans who once relied on the affordable service have had to turn towards more expensive modes of public transport.

Read Open Secrets’ investigations into the middlemen and corporations who profited from corruption at PRASA