The big story: Raymond Zondo and the curse of the Guptas

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has been a busy man. 

He dropped part one of his state capture report, drawn from the commission of inquiry he chaired, in the first week of January. The second volume followed just a few weeks later, landing on Tuesday. 

The commission focused on corruption on a grand scale at our state-owned enterprises (SOEs); the first report tackled South African Airways, the Guptas’ New Age newspaper and the South African Revenue Service. 

This week’s report, weighing in at 506 pages, dove into SOEs Transnet and Denel. It focused mainly on how two former Transnet CEOs, Brian Molefe and Siyabonga Gama, enabled corruption and racketeering at the railway company when they teamed up with the Guptas. 🤨 The report clearly states that state capture started at Transnet in 2009 when the former group CEO, Maria Ramos, resigned and Jacob Zuma became president. The scope of investigation ran between 2009 and 2018 – which many think of as the “dark Zuma years”. 

According to the report, corruption at Transnet accounted for a crazy 72.2% of all government and SOE contracts linked to state capture. Considering the actual scale of state capture, which involves several other entities, like perpetually troublesome Eskom (oh, hey, load shedding is back again 🙄) that’s A LOT!

So, what’s next for those named in the report?

Zondo has recommended that Gama, Molefe, former Transnet CFO Anoj Singh, and Gupta associate Salim Essa, among others, should be subject to further investigations and possibly be charged with corruption and racketeering. 

When the first report was released the National Prosecuting Authority announced it would establish a separate task team with the Hawks to deal with state capture arrests and prosecutions. But, as we previously pointed out, the NPA has been achingly slow to take long-awaited action against those implicated. 

Part three of the report will be released by the end of this month. Zondo may need a long holiday after that! 😓

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 3 February 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.