MUST LISTEN: Peter Hain, all-star panel chart way forward for SA post-Zexit

JOHANNESBURG — Just an hour after Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa’s new President, I was fortunate enough to attend a special panel discussion on ‘Money Laundering and State Capture‘, hosted by the Wits Business School in Johannesburg on Thursday night. The panel discussion was led by Lord Peter Hain and included star-studded attendees ranging from Business Leadership SA CEO Bonang Mohale to ANC stalwart and Corruption Watch Chair Mavuso Msimang. All panellists were excellent, but one stood out: Treasury’s Deputy Director-General Ismail Momoniat. Ismail is proof that quality public servants still exist in Treasury and government despite the dire Zuma years. His thoughts were rational, clear and inspiring. At the end of the event, he even refused a small gift from Wits Business School, highlighting his integrity. (I’m sure the gift from Wits was more of a thank you gesture and innocent, but the kind refusal from Momoniat was highly symbolic.) As my editor Alec Hogg now says: “Hope has sprung.” – Gareth van Zyl

Lord Peter Hain: Thank you very much, and welcome everybody. I’m privileged to be a visiting professor at Wits Business School, where I’m actually allowed to teach the students. In the last few months I’ve had a sense of déjà vu. I’ve been called Hain the Pain, which is certainly what I was called when I was organising disruptions of worldwide Springbok tours in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I was not very popular in the white community here, and I was delighted to be on the receiving end of ferocious Zupta-bots on Twitter that repeatedly told me ‘voetsak,’ which is ironic because during the Stop the Tour campaigns I was repeatedly told by British rugby and cricket fans to go back home so, I’m facing an identity crisis.

Now, this evening, with an expert with panel is meant to be a call for action and you’ll have in front of you this document, ideas for action, which has been drawn up with a range of key NGOs, Corruption Watch, Thabo Bongani, by the way Susan is not able to be with us this evening because she’s been hospitalised with asthma so, we wish her well. Also, Forensics for Justice, OUTA, are also part of all of us who are present here this evening, and then we have other experts from Wits Business School contributing to this panel, and to the document.

From left to right: Professor Kalu Ojah, Mavuso Msimang, Sarah-Jane Trent, Lord Peter Hain, Tara O'Connor, Ismail Momoniat, Bonang Mohale. (Pic: Gareth van Zyl)
From left to right: Professor Kalu Ojah, Mavuso Msimang, Sarah-Jane Trent, Lord Peter Hain, Tara O’Connor, Ismail Momoniat, Bonang Mohale. (Pic: Gareth van Zyl)

So, what is, is its ideas for action and I’ve heard that as a result of tonight we’ll go away with a better idea of an agenda to take forward in this country under the new government. Before introducing the panel, I just want to give three messages. First of all, veterans of the freedom struggle, like Mavuso Msimang, and it’s great having you here this evening, Mavuso. Veterans of the freedom struggle did not sacrifice so much to have their legacy looted, and together we’ve got to reclaim the values of the freedom struggle with integrity of good governance, of equality, good social justice, democracy, and human rights so, that’s the first point.

Secondly, and this is more in my area, any British or global corporate must have nothing to do with corruption and whitewashing corruption or getting fat fees from the looters. I just want to say to Hogan Lovells this evening – we’ll continue to target you relentlessly until you admit what the others had to be dragged to admit. The third point is that I want to salute civil society in SA. The organisations that I’ve mentioned already that have been absolutely tireless and fearless on the anti-corruption agenda. Tracking people down and prosecuting them, like Forensics for Justice have done, and Paul O’Sullivan is here in the audience, and we’re delighted to have you, Paul.

Also, the business community has come to the agenda, perhaps late in the day, and it’s great to see you, Bonang…? It’s great to see you here, Bonang.

Bonang Mohale: You must never trust these blacks hey.

Lord Peter Hain: I knew someone would put me on my place, and he hasn’t even spoken properly yet. Civil society, it seems to me, or the heroes of the hour. There’s civil society, there’s independent media, there’s also part of business community like Business Leadership SA that have actually, ensured that the ANC got a new leader to take the country forward. And do you know what I think? That that result was so close in December that if it were not for the Daily Mavericks and amaBhungane and the Scorpios and the Mail & Guardian and all the rest of them, and the tireless work of the NGOs involved, and present here this evening – we would have got a different result. As a once South African, who is now, as it were, an external observer and a semi-participant I would say, and I would hope that the new government would work with civil society, closely with civil society, and make sure that we can tackle this problem together and I hope that will be done under our new President.

I want to give apologies for Pravin Gordhan, he’s got affairs of State to attend to. He phoned me up to apologise, although I didn’t expect it, but I did expect it this morning. I mentioned Mavuso, he’s also chair of Corruption Watch. Ismail Momoniat, we’re expecting but he’s in traffic at the moment, and he’s the deputy-general of the Treasury, he should be here at any moment. Sarah-Jane Trent from Forensics for Justice. Sarah-Jane was actually kidnapped for a whole weekend, wasn’t it, by a rogue part of the Hawks. We have Tara O’Connor from Africa Risk Consulting. Professor Kalu Ojah from Wits Business School (finance side), and of course, Bonang Mohale that I’ve already introduced, as he skipped unobtrusively onto platform.

We’re going to start this evening, Mavuso, with you, to set the context. As I said earlier on, I’ve been accused of being tyrannical – I’ll hold up one of these and one-minute left and when they have to stop, they have to stop. Thank you very much.

Mavuso Msimang: Thank you very much. He holds one-minute left before I even rise. We all have, as South Africans have gone through two turbulent weeks, during which the ANC, after 9 years of neglect decided that it was time to take on their President and call him to account. So, we’ve had a Sona meeting postponed, we had a scheduled NEC postponed, we had night evenings that lasted for 8 hours or more, and in the end Jacob Zuma, in rather a sorry tone, decided that he would resign after all. So, we have a new era now in which Cyril Ramaphosa has been appointed President. It all happened in Nasrec, December 2017, when Cyril Ramaphosa scraped through with a narrowest of margins. Perhaps that’s the incentive that he would have needed in order to do what he has to do.

I think had he had two-thirds majority that Zuma had had, he might have been lulled into thinking that everything is alright. He’s aligned with some strange bedfellows in the top-6 structure of office. There was supposed to be an election of the leadership. Well, 40% more of the [Zuma-era] ANC, that’s the staff that he’s got to work with. He’s extremely lucky in that the judiciary, without really any over-reach and with no incitement to do anything. Just coincidentally, I assisted Cyril Ramaphosa and the progressive people by making sure that provinces, two of them, that had elected people illegally, were no allowed to go to those elections. Had that happened, we might be talking a different story today.

The ANC’s new Top Six celebrate on stage during the party’s 54th national conference in Johannesburg on December 18, 2017. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

So, this was no conspiracy – let’s make that very clear but Cyril now has his work cut out for him. What he has said correctly is that he’ll focus on two things more, but corruption is a key issue because that’s what characterised the ANC of the past 9 years under Jacob Zuma. You can’t change anything in the ANC if you are not going to change corruption – a good statement. He wants to do something about the economy. It has stagnated. It’s gone into junk status – unemployment rates are at the highest they have been since democracy. All of those things require a very quick intervention.

How does he tackle, in practical terms, corruption? He must not confuse two things. By the way, it is very important that he should build the ANC. He must build unity in the ANC. I do believe, by the way, with due apologies to anybody else who might think differently. That a sound function in the ANC it would be the best organisation or party to run this country. I’ve put it in a caveat so I hope that [everybody takes note]. So, unity for the ANC is the only thing that will keep Cyril Ramaphosa afloat but the unity must not be conflicted with making common cause with corruption. There is a huge difference between the two. If he had my ear, or is it the other way around, if I had his ear – he doesn’t need mine. (One more minute) I’d say to him, if you want to become President of SA, which I’m sure he wants to do, make sure that you don’t make common cause with anybody who was involved in State-capture, with anybody who’s been identified with corruption within the party, whether they are friends of Zuma or not, that’s what it should be. The next thing is there are new frontiers now for democracy. You will not run this country unless you make a common alliance with the NGOs. Without them, I tell you, we wouldn’t be where we are. Thank you.

Lord Peter Hain: Brilliant, Mavuso, exactly 5 minutes. Sarah-Jane Trent from Forensics of Justice.

Sarah-Jane Trent: I’m Sarah-Jane Trent, I’m executive-director of Forensics for Justice, a non-profit organisation. In 2015, it was founded by Paul O’Sullivan to expose corruption within organs of State, and especially, the Criminal Justice System. A few weeks later our offices were raided by police under General Moonoo, using a fraudulently obtained search warrant. On the 26th February 2016, Forensics for Justice opened a criminal docket of corruption against General Phahlane, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, which by then had been captured, with the assistance of a leading law firm, Hogan Lovells. He refused to investigate the case despite the abundance of prima facie evidence.

On the 1st April 2016, Paul O’Sullivan was dragged off a plane with his two, small children. He was unlawfully detained and tortured for 4 days. His crime was that he publicly declared that he was flying to London to call a media briefing to expose the fact that the SA Criminal Justice System had been captured by Zuma-Gupta linked criminals. On Friday, 10th February 2017, at a little after 16h00, I was kidnapped from my office by the Phahlane accomplices. I was held in the back of a car with cable-ties and driven around for hours. Hours later did my family and my legal team actually, find out where I was. I was in some urban police station about an hour out of Johannesburg. My human rights were violated. My kidnappers kept my location a secret and I was only released on Sunday night on an urgent High Court Application. The very next day Paul O’Sullivan was unlawfully arrested and detained. This sounds like apartheid era policing, I think it is.

Forensics for Justice have a name for this. It’s the capture of the Criminal Justice System. Jacob Zuma, his family, and friends looted this country and nearly brought it to its knees. These people not only captured SA’s largest State-owned companies, SAA, Transnet, Eskom, PRASA, etc., but they also captured many organs of State. Forensics for Justice can show that the plan was hatched in early 2014, to take over the Criminal Justice System, and this plan was completed in late 2015. If you owned the Criminal Justice System you could commit crimes with impunity. The State-capturers needed flexible professionals to help them pull-off the global heist of the millennium, Bell Pottinger, KPMG, McKinsey, Hogan Lovells, SAP, HSBC, and last but by no means least, ENSafrica, who protected corrupt SAA chair, Dudu Myeni, who not only triggered Nenegate but also assisted in the capture of Eskom with her son, Thalente Myeni, Nick Lennell, and her son’s father, Jacob Zuma.

Forensics for Justice proposed the three-pillared approach. The first, a Nuremberg-styled court, with dedicated court and judges being an annex of the Specialised Commercial Crime Court, with a dedicated team of police conducting prosecutorial led investigations. The President can actually appoint a special-director of Public Prosecutions to do this. (2) Asset recovery process, and (3) a media strategy to keep the public informed. Forensics for Justice therefore proposed that these companies become part of the solution and a multi-discipline team be formed. These people helped the perpetrators get this country into the mess it is in. Now, they can help us get us out of the mess. In the 3 years Forensics for Justice has spent more than R7m. During the same period, we have received public donations of only R400 000. Yet those that caused the need for Forensics for Justice have collectively banked 100’s of millions of Rands in consulting fees. It’s time those that got SA into this mess, came to the table. Thank you.

Lord Peter Hain: Well, no pressure on the rest of the panel but Sarah-Jane was actually under the 5 minutes. Right, my next speaker is Professor Kalu Ojah who’s head of finance at Wits Business School, and the deputy-director of the school as well, very welcome, Kalu.

Prof Kalu Ojah: The saying goes, an illness well diagnosed is half-cured. We are talking about money laundering. The question is, where does the soiled money come from? We’re all at the high level say, it’s from corruption. What causes corruption? What are the antecedents of corruption, and how do those antecedents who led the SA situation are most African and developing countries situation. First, here you have ethnic or racial fraternisation. You’re likely to have corruption or corrupt activities by individuals, companies, and governments. We are talking about Jacob Zuma because he highlighted the entices of government corrupt activities. If you look at the illicit flows that have gone out of SA the bulk of it has gone to companies and not to government. So, you have transfer pricing that’s elicit flow.

Most of the revenue that a country should get are used to push development is frittered away through transfer prices, was two platforms through which money laundering takes place. It’s through transfer pricing and through the banks. It’s easier for you to pursue activities in financial institutions and track who, which of these institutions is laundering money. The second problem has to do with distributional problems. Countries where you have high inequality – you have us against them, and you have class protection. What happens? It’s easier for the ones that are better educated and better informed to again corner shared wealth of the people for themselves. That has to be addressed.

corruption money laundering theft stealing bribery

Thirdly, where you have legal infrastructure and governance infrastructure are weak, it’s also easy for corrupt activities to take place. So, these three major antecedents of corruption have to be addressed in the SA case, going forward. I am looking forward, after Zuma, because it has happened before Zuma. It got proliferated under Zuma – it’s going to continue if we do not address these three key drivers. One of the fundamental ways of addressing them are, firstly, around the dispositional issues. We talk about education – students literally forced the government to realise that there was a significant block of the SA population that was left out the education system. We’re going to keep having dispositional issues if you don’t bring them up to speed. Education, free education obviously, to some extent and not forever – this will be one of the ways of addressing that in a very significant way.

Secondly, around weak institutional infrastructure. SA has fantastic rules and laws in the books. But they have to be implemented and forced otherwise, nothing will happen. One that comes in and has the personality of Zuma and can tell you will again, challenge the system and the court system. Finally, the transformation programs that have been put in place – some of them are very good transformation programs. Again, they need to be implemented to get society to a place where the majority of the people feel they belong. Thank you.

Lord Peter Hain: I’ll tell you what, Kalu, I’ve never heard an academic be so succinct. Our next panellist, and we’ve been joined by Ismail Momoniat, great to have you here from the SA Treasury, the deputy-director general. Our next speaker is Tara O’Connor who does an amazing job for Africa Risk Consulting. We’re really pleased to have you on the panel as well, Tara.

Tara O’Connor: The reason I’m here really, is because I have a background going back 25 years, of actually following corporates across Africa, but also advising and working with the private sector with corporates to help them invest in non-corrupt ways. And then including in some of the most corrupt countries across the Continent. Well, it’s Africa Risk Consulting so, I deal mainly with the Continent. But also, to then, once they’re up and running, to help them operate within international law and to have processes and policies in place that help them operate cleanly and safely. But I really want to talk about, to use my 5 minutes, to talk about three things that I think are essential going forward and from lessons learnt in the last 9 years.

The most important one, I think, is to re-institute the independent investigations unit, the Scorpions, that was one of the first, I think, what it’s destruction led the way to the impunity and failure to investigate the sort of Hawks raid that you saw yesterday morning. It was a regular occurrence when the Scorpions were around. I think it’s absolutely essential for the future. That we’ve learnt some lessons from that and reinstate them. The second is, I think, one of the very key instruments in the battle against corruption is the extraterritorial legislation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and now recently, the UK Bribery Act, which was promulgated in 2011, and has proved incredibly effective in getting corporates to behave themselves.

The final point that I’d like to talk to you, if I can get to it, but may not is the role of private organisations, private investigations organisations in supporting government to actually reach out and curb, investigate, and identify assets and asset trace, and bring that money back. So, returning to my first point. I think the lesson learnt of losing the Scorpions is completely apparent in that it provided a whole avenue for State Capture. But I think one of the other lessons that need to be learnt about that is a very clear mandate and it needs a very clear mandate so that the Scorpions, or whatever follows it, doesn’t become a law unto itself but it has a clear mandate.

The critical lesson of the last 9 years is that the executive power – it should be sufficiently independent of executive power. Have it considerably independent so that it can’t be so easily destroyed or rendered toothless. A second area I think, of having worked on major corruption investigations in other countries – a second lesson that I think is a very important one is that it should be relatively self-financing. Either self-financing or have a secure budget because one of the key ways of stopping corruption investigations is, of course, to manipulate the funds or to suddenly not make funds available, as I think Thuli Madonsela found to her detriment. So, those are the two things. I think the US SEC – the US Investigator’s Regulators provide a very good model for this in that those who are bound to be corrupt actually, pay for the investigations, and the regulators are actually allowed to levy fines, which helps them to be independent of government.

I know that I have Lord Hain here so, I have to be a bit careful of what I say, but one of the big problems about investigating corruption in the UK is the fact that the SFO has problems in terms of its regular budgeting and its security of its future. (One-minute) So, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act is a critical act. It takes the FCPA much further in that it bans a whole load of more things. So, the UK Bribery Act not only bans the giving of bribes but it bans the receiving of bribes, which is an extension, an important extension.

Lord Peter Hain: Tara, thanks very much that was great. Just before I bring Ismail in for his 5 minutes, is you’re saying that SA should legislate or something equivalent, to the Bribery Act for the municipal.

Tara O’Connor: Yes, and I think it provides… Well, I think the extraterritorial nature of both of those Acts has a very good impact.

Lord Peter Hain: Meaning what?

Tara O’Connor: The outside of American nature so, if you have a director who is an American national, in fact, even if you use the US Dollar on a regular basis, you are actually subject to the FCPA and its provision. It means that wherever you operate in the world you are bound by US Anti-Corruption Law. By exactly the same token the UK Bribery Act is much more stringent and much stricter, but it also applies beyond the borders of the UK. It applies to wherever any director, or any UK director of any company anywhere is bound by the UK Bribery Act. I do think that that would be a great means of making sure that your own corporates are behaving with probity when they’re operating abroad.

Lord Peter Hain: So, just to take this forward and it’s a very valuable point. So, for example, when I was a non-executive director, I no longer am, but when I was – in London on a London listed company, if something had been done by a junior member of the company in Cote d’Ivoire, even if you didn’t know about it, if there was a bit of bribery and kickbacks going on – he was to be prosecuted in London. So, this is extremely tough.

Tara O’Connor: It’s a very tough law.

Lord Peter Hain: I think SA should look at that, which is really what you’re saying.

Tara O’Connor: I absolutely agree.

Lord Peter Hain: Well, a perfect entre for the deputy-director General of the Treasury, Ismail. We’re delighted to have you here. It’s fantastic that we’ve now got a potential for a Treasury to be used in a really positive way, to unbound some of these looted billions so, we hope you’ll come up.

Ismail Momoniat: Thanks, Peter, then you need to give me more than 5 minutes. I think, firstly, and I won’t deal with the need for a Criminal Justice System to work and to act without fear or favour. I think the bigger question is, why didn’t it act before? Why did they only start acting yesterday, and certainly getting the culture and the accountable systems right? I think aside from getting the culture right the problem is politics does share what people do, and most people fall in line with the politicians. Like somebody said, just like it’s hard to find anyone against apartheid, it’s hard to find anyone against State Capture today. That’s what’s going to happen after today.

I don’t want to focus on the prosecuting side. I think that, and I agree with everything that was said earlier, (just before me), and I think that those things need to be done and they need to work. However, I also think that we need to ask hard questions. What are the preventive systems that we have? Why didn’t they work? Why didn’t the internal audit units work? Why didn’t the Audit Committees work? Why didn’t the auditors see it? I promise you, if the auditors looked hard enough they would have found it but it was too lucrative to act. So, one needs to look at all those measures and see how we can change the culture of all these institutions, all these professions so that if they don’t act, they will be struck-off and they can’t practice, or there’s some sanctions.

Of course, in our country, I think it’s been extremely frustrating in the Treasury. Yes, we may have not seen things earlier enough, on State Capture, but when we did see it you would really get fired if you acted so, there’s reports on the dairy farm. There’s reports on the poor procurement practices, Tegeta and so on, at Eskom – yet you couldn’t act because the man at the top didn’t want to act and he fired people. The most incredible thing is this, you have Deputy Minister Jonas saying, ‘I’ve been offered this post,’ and the President, I believe, not calling him up once to say, ‘what happened,’ and not taking any interest if it happened that someone is undermining his authority.

So, the fact that if people don’t ask questions, be it the President, the regulators, the Prosecuting Agencies because when we’ve had discussions people say, ‘nobody has laid charges’ or ‘nobody has done this.’ It’s in all the damn newspapers but I’m curious. Now, if you’re not curious and you’re not asking questions – you really can’t have any of those jobs so, I think changing the culture. We need to have people who are going to ask the questions and really demonstrate that they can act without fear or favour. I think, just looking back, we need to also look at many issues. I’m glad that our new President has raised the issue of how are appointments made to boards? In fact, the appointments that were made on Eskom and Transnet, were shocking. You didn’t know who these people were. It was no fit and proper test, and whilst I think we make a big thing about getting security vetting, and I hate the word security. I’m saying, can we just to vetting for honesty? Just see if the guys are honest, and if they crook people then they clearly, don’t qualify.

Before you look at fancy things like security, which anyway, seems to have other objectives other than what they’re supposed to do. I think the whole concept in our anti-money law in the legislation on politically exposed persons – we call it PEPs here. But I think we need to step that up because those who embarked on State Capture are always politically connected. How you deal with that, I think, is going to be quite critical so, I think when you look at the preventative mechanisms, the appointment processes, the issue of the interface as the NDP brought out, between the political and the administrative, is quite important.

Public servants who speak up actually get fired. It shouldn’t be so easy when people are standing up for the right thing, and then they get fired. We need to setup institutions that protect your public servants. That you don’t encourage a ‘yes man’ or ‘yes woman’ culture, which really was there. Obviously, if such accounting officers and so on don’t act against corruption they should be charged first. But having done that, I think the politicians also get away and say, ‘no, it was the accounting officer that did this and not me.’ I think that there’s a lot of governance reforms, which we could put in place. I think that there are also design issues. There are some obvious things, like approval processes. For example, someone who approves mineral rights.

We’ve had a situation where there’s rampant corruption. Surely there needs to be a proper governance over that. One needs to look at the integrity of those processes so, I don’t think that we need very fancy solutions but I also think, to end off, that we should have regular lifestyle audits. Senior public servants, like me, or politicians should be subjected to annual lifestyle audits and I think that those sorts of mechanisms can pick up a lot of the potential problems that we have. I’ll stop there for now.

Lord Peter Hain: That was terrific. Could I just ask a follow up question? Do you think there is the capacity in the Treasury, properly led and under the decent President we have now, to actually carry forward this task? Is there the capacity or has the Treasury been damaged?

Ismail Momoniat: Look, the Treasury has lost a lot of people, it’s a problem. But I never take capacity as a problem. I think it’s become an excuse in SA. I think that we can gain capacity if the political will is there, and I think the whole issue is, yes, we might we need more powers to subpoena and so on, because we rely on people volunteering information. We don’t really have any power to investigate, but I think that yes, there’s a mountain of reports, which need follow up by the Hawks and so on, who have the investigative powers to actually develop a case, and the NPA, which actually acts and doesn’t sleep on the job.

Lord Peter Hain: By the way, I think we should, Sibusiso, the director of the school – I think we should get Momo back to talk when he doesn’t have a tyrannical chair, and he’s able to talk in some detail about these issues and perhaps you might be willing to engage with some of the NGOs, the Corruption Watches and so on here. To talk to some of us through the detail because I think it’s been very valuable. Do you agree on what’s been said this evening? So, our final, but not at all the least speaker here, because I know, and just knowing him is going to give me a hard time, as a chair, I just know that is Bonang Mohale, who’s Business Leadership SA. It’s fantastic you joined us here this evening, Bonang, welcome.

Bonang Mohale: Isn’t it amazing that even though we had a moment to celebrate last night but we couldn’t for two reasons. One, because the work at hand is so big, a thousand-and-one challenges that we are confronted with us. But also, because we just can’t afford to celebrate. Nonetheless, I think all of us, a round of applause that the thief is gone. The next task is how do we start the difficult task of State building or capacity building? Unfortunately, where we are public administration is worse off than it was when we inherited a technically bankrupt apartheid system. For you to approach that I’ll go back to the definition of State Capture.

Secondly, we also have SOEs, some of them bigger than net asset values of countries that have been totally bankrupted. I’ll use Eskom as an example. Here’s an entity that has a debt in October 2017 of R471bn. Now, it’s moving towards R500bn. State guarantees of R350bn, of which R295bn they’ve already used. They need to come within a matter of days with $1bn. That’s R23bn just to meet their governance to the banks, the commitments they’ve made and that we heard as the CEO who had the audacity to say, ‘we are making so much money at Eskom that we can afford to finance the nuclear deal,’ which is a $1tr.

Thirdly, it said that President, not President-Elect Cyril Ramaphosa, now has a leadership that technically is under prosecution, and that’s one of the things that he has to deal with as a matter of urgency. Then, of course, lastly is how we continue as business to be awake to the fact that we celebrated when we got the best Constitution in the world. We had Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela as a State President. When we had a thief, we didn’t know how to deal with this thief. So, the lesson for us is how do we ensure that we never ever get disengaged? That we become part of a vibrant active citizenry in civil society. Not only to hold executives accountable, but to be involved even at the policy development stage.

We haven’t said much about State Capture but we have seen how it manifests. If you understand the DNA, the antecedents of State Capture it is truly, extraordinary that, one, we could have purposefully, wilfully, deliberately repurposed SOEs to benefit not the 58 million SA, but the Gupta and the Zuma family. That secondly, we embarked on this project of creating parallel but nonetheless, weak governance because State Capture does not thrive where there is good, cooperative governance. Thirdly, that we have created a Shadow State, where not even a Cabinet is finally accountable. We created sexy things like Inter-Ministerial Committees and one such Minister, even lied to say, ‘I’m chairperson of such,’ and Cabinet resolved to institute a Commission of Enquiry into why the four banks closed the Gupta accounts. That’s where the focus was.

Fourthly, it’s how we, even legitimised rancidly otherwise how do you explain a bankrupt Eskom prepaying R600m to Tugeta Gupta owned, a private entity, and giving them R1.6bn guarantee to buy another private company called Optimum Coal? Lastly, the prize has always been the capture of National Treasury, our pride and joy. This was amongst the world class institutions that we built with effectiveness and efficiency. For two reasons, they wanted to capture it. One because last year National Treasury collected R1.14tr. And the PAC is the largest asset manager on the Continent, with now R1.9tr of assets under management. Of course, capturing individuals who would like to get their dirty hands onto that. I didn’t give you any trouble.

Lord Peter Hain: I’m sure I speak for all of you that the panel has been absolutely great on time. I think, given all the people on the panel, and we’re very privileged to have such a distinguished panel.

(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)