Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
JOHANNESBURG - As Jacob Zuma sails into the sunset, the poor governance, corruption as well as operational and financial woes in some of the country’s state-owned companies (SOEs) remain his legacy of shame.

Right from the beginning of his tenure as ANC President in 2007 and that of South Africa in 2009, Zuma knew the significance of SOEs.
While acutely aware of their role as catalysts for shared economic growth and transformation, Zuma and his ministers allowed SOEs to slide into crisis. Key SOEs Eskom, South African Airways (SAA), Denel and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have been limping from one crisis to another.

While the respective SOEs had their respective line departments, the rot at these institutions happened under Zuma’s nose. In August 2016, the government announced that Zuma would directly oversee the strategy of state-owned companies and any government intervention made in them through the creation of the special presidential state-owned enterprise co-ordinating council that he would chair.

Pan-African Capital Holdings chief executive Iraj Abedian yesterday (THUR) said that Zuma had facilitated the rot at some of the SOEs. “He gave those who were doing wrong things political protection. Had the Hawks done what they did this week, much of the rot at these companies would not have happened,” he said, referring to the Hawks’ raids this week. The elite police unit had by yesterday (THUR) arrested eight people in connection to investigations related to state capture.