The ongoing failure of South Africa’s investigative bodies and prosecuting authority to secure accountability for high-level corruption and economic crime is one of many serious risks to the country’s future.
South Africa is trapped in a cycle of impunity. In a previous investigation, called the Enablers, Open Secrets tracked the architects and beneficiaries of corruption at Eskom, Transnet, and other high-profile state capture crimes. In this report, we investigate the ‘low-hanging fruit’ cases which law enforcement agencies and regulators can urgently act on now.
Prasa, SAA, Denel, and SARS are key South African institutions. Corruption at these agencies affects millions of commuters and impoverished South Africans who face the brunt of corruption when government is unable to afford basic services due to looting of state institutions.
This report — which is Part One in a two-part series on state capture — finds the people, politicians and businesses who enabled and benefited from corruption at these four state institutions. They are the low-hanging fruit: the cases which law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies can act on now to hold perpetrators of state capture crimes to account. Yet, no-one has been convicted or faced serious consequences for their actions.
To disrupt South Africa’s history of impunity, networks of patrongage and corruption must be held to account by those who enforce the law and who regulate industries and institutions. The time for urgent action is now, and these are people and businesses who must face accountability.