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.