Open Secrets TV is the official YouTube channel for Open Secrets, an independent non-profit in South Africa. Open Secrets uses investigative research, advocacy and litigation to hold powerful private sector actors accountable for violations of human rights. We hope to promote the right to truth and contribute towards social justice in Southern Africa.
Current Advocacy Campaigns
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. In addition to this, the Working Group successfully held the first People’s Hearing on State Capture in October 2019.
Open Secrets acts as the secretariat of the Civil Society Working Group on State Capture.
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
On 29 March 1988 five bullets ended the life of South African freedom fighter Dulcie September. She was imprisoned, driven into exile and by the 1980’s she spearheaded the anti-apartheid efforts in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg from a small office in Paris.
Why was she killed? Who is the shadowy network that profited from her murder? Why do her killers roam free?
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
While researching Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit, Open Secrets collected approximately 40,000 archival documents from 25 archives in seven countries containing damning details of the individuals and corporations that propped up apartheid and profited in return. Many of these documents were kept secret until now, and most remain hidden despite South Africa’s transition to democracy. In line with our belief that this information should be available to be scrutinised by the public, we released this series of articles on Daily Maverick and News24 which looked at the documents that informed the book.
Unaccountable is an Open Secrets series published on the Daily Maverick. The series consists of profiles of large corporations and private individuals who are all implicated in economic crime but have never been held to account for these – or at best escaped substantive justice. The decision to focus on powerful private actors, implicated in large scale political corruption is a conscious one and mirrors the approach of Open Secrets. Many of the profiles are based on Open Secrets’ existing and ongoing research.