the people's tribunal on economic crime

the arms trade

The first People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa was held from 3-7 February 2018 at the former Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg. As secretariat of the People’s Tribunal, Open Secrets convened an organising committee comprising of a range of civil society organisations, including the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Corruption Watch, the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR), Open Secrets, Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and the Right2Know Campaign (R2K).

Over five days, the People’s Tribunal examined continuities between apartheid-era economic crime, the post-apartheid Arms Deal, and current state capture. The inaugural hearings focused on the arms trade across these three eras informed by public submissions and testimony by witnesses and whistle-blowers. This evidence was led before a panel of five esteemed adjudicators including former Constitutional Court Justice Zak Yacoob, Navi Pillay, Dinga Sikwebu, Mandisa Dyantyi, and Allyson Maynard Gibson.


An illustration by Carlos Amato portraying the arms trade and its historical roots, inspired by the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime. Image available here.

the tribunal panel's findings

the esteemed tribunal panel released strong final recommendations based on evidence heard at the people’s tribunal on economic crime in february 2018.

the final findings release event

the final report was handed down to the public at constitution hill on 20 september 2018. implicated parties were invited and failed to show.

implementing the findings

open secrets was tasked with notifying relevant state parties about the final findings of the people’s tribunal on economic crime. this is the first step towards ensuring implementation of the panel’s recommendations.

the joining the dots report

this report introduces the cases heard at the first people’s tribunal on economic crime in south africa, and explains the need to join the dots between past and present corruption

freedom for sale

listen to the podcast on the people’s tribunal, put together by open secrets in partnership with sound africa


watch recordings of the first people’s tribunal on economic crime via the open secrets youtube page