OPINION: Civil society pulls together against capture

There is a titanic battle going on for the soul of South Africa. For a while, the forces of state capture, greed and corruption seemed as if they had pretty much won the battle.

However, those standing up for our nation’s sovereignty are gathering force and making strides in beating the Zuma/Guptas state capture project.

BANTU MNIKI Picture: FILE

Hot on the heels of the Unburdening Panel report released on May 18 by the South African Council of Churches, came a second even more explosive report, “Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen” compiled by the State Capacity Research Project on May 25.

It was a product of wide ranging collaboration between academic researchers in partnership with various stakeholders, including the SACC.

Both reports have been inspired by and followed the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report, which was bravely and spectacularly released during the very last days of her tenure.

It is likely that both reports were the result of the infamous obfuscation of the ANC in dealing directly, honestly and urgently, with the matter of state capture.

In the absence of leadership from the ANC on the matter, the church and academia have taken the initiative to deal with it. I cannot imagine a finer demonstration of responsible citizenship by these brave and conscientious members of our society.

I find it very encouraging to note what seems to be the emergence of a new era of collaboration dawning in South Africa.

We have seen NGOs standing together in defence of our constitution and our people. We have witnessed opposition parties working together to rid South Africa of President Jacob Zuma and his parasitic network. Now we see collaboration between the church and academia, all in the interest of the nation.

I suspect we will begin to see more collaborations across the vast sections of our population for the single purpose of reclaiming and refocusing our nation.

The crucial importance of the “Betrayal of the Promise” report is the clear analysis it provides of the extent and reality of state capture.

It illuminates the existence of a parallel state whose maintenance depends on its ability to dig its tentacles deep into the legitimate state, so as to continue sucking state resources out for its own satisfaction. It is a perfect picture of parasitism. But also, it the perfect picture of the subversion of state.

“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 a 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 the constitutional and shadow state. This is akin to a silent coup,” says the report.

On May 28, a few days after the release of this report, the weekend newspapers laid bare the disgusting activities and the identity of the players behind state capture.

They boggle the mind: The Guptas screening ministers, the sharing of state information with this family, the hollowing out of parastatal boards, the Gupta funded Dubai trips, the grooming of the ANC Youth League’s Collen Maine and many more sleazy activities.

It would even seem that the Zumas have prepared an exit plan to Dubai! Unbelievable!

The “Betrayal of the Promise” report emphasises that we are dealing with much more than corruption.

Again this was ratified by the latest media reports with e-mails between the various parties providing hard proof of their complicity.

We are dealing with a deliberate design, the purpose of which is to subvert the legitimate state for its own ends.

This is a crime against our nation. Zuma, the Guptas and whoever is associated with it must face the full might of the law.

And as the battle rages on, you and I must take a stand. I’m pretty sure we will overwhelmingly stand for our nation, South Africa.

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