Analysis  >  Friday Briefing: The SARS rogues hit back

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The normalisation of state capture and the SARS rogue drama

A new post-state capture narrative seems to be developing, one in which not only the existence of the damaging phenomenon of capture is being disputed, but where the actions of those who enabled it are being whitewashed.

Look at Matshela Koko, the don of the failing Eskom, trying to rehabilitate and justify himself, even landing interviews as an “energy expert” on television. Lucky Montana, from Prasa fame, mocking all and sundry who are trying to pick through the debris he left behind. And most famously there is Tom Moyane, the former SARS commissioner, found to have destroyed the tax collector, who is being held up as a beacon of circumspection, professionalism and fortitude by his supporters.

The damage wrought on SARS is still having enormous repercussions. And the story of that vital institution’s capture is the story of South Africa’s capture. This week’s latest chapter, with the EFF publishing a secret report by the inspector-general of intelligence into SARS, adds another layer of complexity. Kyle Cowan and I attempt to unpack one of the most complicated stories of recent times.


Pieter du Toit

Assistant Editor: In-depth news

Operatives of the State Security Agency (SSA), the Public Protector, two former Sunday Times journalists, agents of multi-national tobacco company British American Tobacco, former SARS officials and crime intelligence cops are being investigated by the inspector-general of intelligence (IGI) for their role in the SARS "rogue unit" debacle.


Johann van Loggerenberg

Genesis: How the SARS rogue unit narrative was born and normalised

Pieter du Toit

The inspector-general of intelligence's (IGI) report into the SARS investigative unit was the basis on which all other adverse findings against SARS, its leadership and the unit was made. But court papers now reveal how the IGI was handed evidence and information which was never considered.


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