Former president Thabo Mbeki File picture: Neil Baynes

Cape Town - What has happened during the Zuma years is the entrenchment of corruption, former president Thabo Mbeki has said.

Mbeki was speaking during an interview with Spain's el Pais national newspaper.

"... South Africans generally understood that part of what's happened during the Zuma years has been the entrenchment of corruption in government and society," Mbeki said. 

"So this is part of the problem. (This) entrenchment of corruption led to what is called state capture, which means that you have a particular business family that became so important it was taking decisions on behalf the government.

"The Zuma phenomenon was not an individual phenomenon, it was systemic."


Former president Jacob Zuma resigned on February 14 after mounting pressure for him to leave even within his own party. 

On March 16, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma would go on trial on fraud, racketeering, corruption, and money laundering charges.

Mbeki was recalled by the ANC in 2008.