President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the consequences of state capture can still be seen today.
In the history of South Africa, state capture was perhaps the greatest damage caused to the country, according to Ramaphosa.
“For a decade, individuals at the highest levels of the state conspired with private individuals to take over and repurpose state owned companies, law enforcement agencies and other public institutions,” he said.
He said state capture was enabled by local and multinational companies.
“Billions of rands that were meant to meet the needs of ordinary South Africans were stolen. Confidence in our country was badly eroded. Public institutions were severely weakened.”
The president said the scars of state capture can be seen by our failing logistical issues.
“The effects of state capture continue to be felt across society, from the shortage of freight locomotives to crumbling public services, from the poor performance of our power stations to failed development projects,” he added.
WHAT IS GOVERNMENT GOING TO DO?
The president said that his first priority was to put a decisive stop to state capture and dismantle the criminal networks within the state.
He said that the country is dedicated in its efforts to restore the SA institutions and rebuild the economy.
“We appointed capable people with integrity to head our law enforcement agencies, government departments, security services and state companies, often through an independent and transparent processes,” Ramaphosa said.
The president noted that over 200 accused persons are being prosecuted and more are under investigation.
He said that freezing orders of R14 billion have been granted to the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit for state capture-related cases, and around R8.6 billion in corrupt proceeds have been returned to the state.
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has collected R4.8 billion in unpaid taxes as a result of evidence presented at the Commission, while the Special Investigating Unit has instituted civil litigation to the value of R64 billion, according to the President.
“Legislation is currently before Parliament to establish the Investigating Directorate as a permanent entity with full investigating powers,” he explained.
But he noted with enthusiasm that much more work needs to be done to eradicate corruption completely.
Concerning state capture Ramaphosa also noted the impact of the July 2021 unrest. He said that individuals loyal to their own interests sought to provoke a popular insurrection. The unrest led to a tragic loss of life and widespread destruction.
“These efforts to undo the hard-won gains of our freedom failed because the people of South Africa stood firm, together, in defence of our Constitution and its promise of a better life for all,” he said.