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On Wednesday, 19 February 2020, the Civil Society Working Group (CSWG) launched its joint submission of recommendations to the Zondo Commission into State Capture. The CSWG brings together at least 24 participating civil society organisations, convened by Open Secrets.

“The purpose of this submission is to summarise and highlight recommendations made by members of the Civil Society Working Group on State Capture (“the Working Group”) to the Zondo Commission that can form the basis of an Agenda for Action to be prioritised by the state under the vigilant eye of civil society.”

The document goes on the describe the impact of state capture and corruption on the lives of the people of South Africa.

“The consequences of the looting have been dire and have undoubtedly contributed to poverty and unemployment and extends beyond a financial loss. The capacity of the state has been severely eroded. In addition, South Africa has had to grapple with a weaker economy, a continued revenue short-fall and dysfunctional State-Owned Entities that are bleeding the fiscus dry. It is unconscionable that constitutionally enshrined human rights such as health care, social security, housing and basic education, to name only a few, have been compromised because of the actions of corrupt individuals.”

Chapter 3 constitutes the direct recommendations to the Zondo Commission, including, strengthening the criminal justice system, protecting the most vulnerable people e.g. whistleblowers, safe-guarding state-owned entities, bringing perpetrators to justice and limiting the corrosive effects of political-party funding.

“The South African people have witnessed political elites making empty promises to tackle high-level corruption. This must change, and we must see real action and consequences if we are to continue to trust the democratic political order. There must be accountability for corruption, and this must start with our leaders in politics, public institutions and private corporations who have enabled state capture.”