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Press Release - Call for Evidence

Given the failure of state institutions to fully investigate allegations of corruption and state capture, members of civil society have today announced the creation of a People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa. We urge members of the public to submit information to be presented at the first hearings of the Tribunal to be held in November 2017.

The People’s Tribunal aims to allow an inclusive and evidence based discussion on the inter-connected nature of state capture in South Africa, joining the dots over the past four decades from Apartheid-era economic crime to the post-Apartheid Arms Deal and the current era of what we call ‘state capture’. The Tribunal will hear evidence relating to each of these eras over 5 days.

The People’s Tribunal is organised by citizens, and is not a statutory body. Members of the public can submit evidence, which will be introduced and examined by a small team of evidence leaders. A panel of seven adjudicators will consider these submissions and make a written report that will be presented to the public.

The first hearings will focus on the arms trade across the three eras identified above. We thus invite anyone with information on the following cases to submit this information to the organising committee:

  • Alleged breaches of International and South African law by actors who facilitated the illegal supply of weapons to apartheid South Africa between 1977 and 1994.
  • Alleged breaches of South African and International law by corporations and individuals in the process of the 1999 Arms Deal.
  • Alleged breaches of South African and International law in relation to current allegations of ‘state-capture’ as they relate to Denel.

People are encouraged to come forward with both documentary evidence and first-hand experience. All submissions will be treated confidentially, and it is not required to publicly present the evidence at the Tribunal. A select number of submissions will be given an opportunity for verbal presentation.  Information will only be used with the consent of the witness and may be presented to the tribunal and adjudicators in different forms.

The Tribunal’s organising committee comprises a range of civil society organisations, including the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Corruption Watch, Foundation for Human Rights, Open Secrets, Public Affairs Research Institute, Right2Know Campaign and the South African Council of Churches.

The deadline for submissions is 22 October 2017. All submissions should be made to the Tribunal Secretariat (c/o Open Secrets):


Telephone: (021) 4472701

For further information on the Tribunal, visit

For further comment or questions please contact:

Leanne Govindsamy, Corruption Watch: 011 242 3900
Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Public Affairs Research Institute: 011 482 1739
Nomonde Nyembe, Centre for Applied Legal Studies: 011 717 8606
Mamashoabathe Noko, Foundation for Human Rights: 011 484 039
Carina Conradie, Right2Know Campaign: 071 571 4470
Michael Marchant, Open Secrets: 082 7722 936

Eskom Inquiry Reference Book

In September 2017, Parliament’s Public Enterprises Committee will begin its inquiry into alleged manifestations of state capture in three of South Africa’s state owned companies (SOCs): Eskom, Transnet, and Denel. The Committee will be under considerable pressure to drive a targeted investigation that ultimately brings to light the information necessary to more fully understand the manner in which the governance of key institutions may have been repurposed to facilitate large-scale corruption by a politically connected elite.

The authors of this reference book have set out to provide an independent, accessible, concise, and factbased account of some, but not all, of the alleged instances of governance failure and corruption at the largest SOC – Eskom. The authors hope that a streamlined and objective account of the deeply complex challenges facing the power utility will be of assistance to the Committee, as well as members of the general public.

Beyond shedding light on specific instances of wrongdoing – whether through dereliction of duty or overt corruption, it is hoped that the Committee will also probe higher level structural and governance questions in order to make recommendations around strengthening and reforming institutions in the future.

The People’s Tribunal in the News

Op-ed: How corrupt power captured Eskom and helped pull the plug on growth

Parliament will soon begin its inquiry into Eskom and other state-owned enterprises (SOEs). As it summons witnesses to give evidence, further details will come to light around the repurposing of governance and the centralisation of rent-seeking opportunities to unlawfully benefit a politically connected elite.

Read more at Business Day

‘People’s Tribunal’ set up to hear evidence on arms trade corruption

Civil society organisations on Wednesday announced a People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime to be held in Johannesburg in November. The state’s not willing to act, but someone has to. Such tribunals have been successful before and this one could provide a record of evidence for future leaders to prosecute the corrupt.

Read more at Daily Maverick

People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in SA created

Members of civil society on Monday, announced the creation of a People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa. The tribunal is urging members of the public to submit information to be presented at the first hearings of the tribunal in November 2017.

Read more at Business Report

Communications materials

Full Programme: The People's Tribunal on Economic Crime, 3–7 February


Press Release: People's Tribunal