There is not one single explanation for pervasive poverty and high levels of inequality in South Africa. However, a key cause is endemic corruption and economic crime. It undermines human rights and deepens inequality. Such acts of violence by powerful individuals and corporations drive millions into poverty. Economic crimes and corruption are committed by a small band of the powerful, but they pose fundamental threats to democracy and social justice.
Open Secrets has a mission to disrupt these networks and pursue accountability. We do so because we want a society in which the powerful do not monopolise resources and influence. This book represents the collective effort of our small, tenacious and dedicated team at Open Secrets. Many of our colleagues at Open Secrets, past and present, contributed to the investigations and writing contained in this book. The Unaccountables contains thirty-five profiles of unaccountable corporations and private individuals, as well as politicians and state institutions. All of them have played a role in crimes that have had grave social consequences. None of them have been properly held to account.