Betrayal of the promise: South Africa’s silent coup

http://m.ewn.co.za/2017/05/25/sacc-state-capture-report-sa-has-experienced-silent-coup
“JOHANNESBURG – A group of academics working with the South African Council of Churches (SACC) on state capture says South Africa has experienced a silent coup that has removed the African National Congress (ANC) from its place as the primary force for transformation in society.

The report says that a power elite centred around President Jacob Zuma has managed to build a symbiotic relationship between the constitutional state and what it calls a shadow state to execute this coup.

Last week the SACC said that the evidence brought before its unburdening panel showed that the country was on the brink of becoming a mafia state.

The report was written by nine academics and one journalist and says people are wrong to believe that President Zuma is at the centre of a criminal network that has captured the state.

They claim that actually, there is a political project at work to repurpose state instructions to help a group of networks make money from the government at the expense of the poor.

The group says that at the centre of this group are the same handful of people and companies connected to what it calls the Zuma-Gupta family network.

They specifically mention Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and the role they say he played in ensuring that people linked to the Gupta family were given seats on the boards of several state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The report says that the only way to resolve this crisis is to dismantle the entire network.

 

 

The report in full:
An excerpt:
“This report suggests South Africa has experienced a silent coup that has removed the ANC from its place as the primary force for transformation in society. Four public moments define this new era: the Marikana Massacre on 16 August 2012; the landing of the Gupta plane at Waterkloof Air Base in April 2013; the attempted bribing of former Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas to sell the National Treasury to the shadow state in late 2015; and the Cabinet reshuffle in March 2017. Resistance and capture is what South African politics is about today. Commentators, opposition groups and ordinary South Africans underestimate Jacob Zuma, not simply because he is more brazen, wily and brutal than they expect, but because they reduce him to caricature. They conceive of Zuma and his allies as a criminal network that has captured the state. This approach, which is unfortunately dominant, obscures the existence of a political project at work to repurpose state institutions to suit a constellation of rent-seeking networks that have been constructed and now span the symbiotic relationship between the constitutional and shadow state. This is akin to a silent coup. This report documents how the Zuma-centred power elite has built and consolidated this symbiotic relationship between the constitutional state and the shadow state in order to execute the silent coup.”
“This report documents the systematic repurposing of state
institutions in accordance with a political project mounted by the
Zuma-centred power elite. It was demonstrated that the purpose
of this political project is systemic illegal and/or unethical rent-seeking action. These pre-meditated and co-ordinated activities are designed to enrich a core group of beneficiaries,to consolidate
political power and to ensure the long-term survival of the rent-seeking system that has been built by this power elite over the past decade. To this end a symbiotic relationship between the
constitutional state and the shadow state has been built and consolidated.
At the nexus of this symbiosis between the constitutional and shadow states are 12 companies and 15 individuals connected in one way or another to the Gupta-Zuma family network. The way
this is strategically coordinated constitutes the shadow state. Decisions made within this nexus about what happens within the constitutional state are executed by well-placed individuals located in the most significant centres of state power (in Government, SOEs
and the bureaucracy). The official testimony to the Public Protector
by former Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas – that has not been successfully and credibly contested – is about how he was offered a place in this network with a R600 million bribe. This
transaction reveals the clear modus operandi of those who operate within the shadow state and how this has made it possible for them to gain control of the constitutional state. Crucially, we in turn have no idea how many others accepted these kinds of unimaginably enormous bribes. Those who resist this agenda are systematically removed, redeployed to other lucrative positions to silence them, placed under tremendous pressure, or hounded out by trumped up internal and/or external charges and dubious intelligence reports.
It has been argued in this report that the Zuma-centred power elite
has sought to centralise the control of rents to eliminate lower-order
rent-seeking competitors from about 2012 onwards. “
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