ACCORDING to President Jacob Zuma, there is no such thing as state capture: the term, he said in Gauteng last week, is used in meaningless fashion.
This is the height of cynicism. Given the Leninist doctrine employed by the ANC since 1994, state capture has been practised for 22 years as political-party deployment. It has devalued the ethos and quality of public service and contributed to violent protest that sees schools and libraries routinely torched. But since the ascendancy of Zuma it has taken on special meaning.
State capture has involved corruption and racketeering, graft and organised crime to further individual and factional ambitions within the ANC. So blatant has this become it amounts to economic sabotage. Thus the call by 27 former directors-general, including ANC heavyweights Siphiwe Nyanda, Frank Chikane and Mavuso Msimang, for an investigation into state capture and breaches of the Constitution and the law.
Rumours of the imminent arrest of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for alleged espionage, and claims and threats against figures such as the public protector, are clearly part of a desperate attempt by the Zuma faction to avoid further damaging exposure.
This might all seem part of political comic opera were the likely economic and financial consequences for South Africa not so dire.
The ANC’s failure to act decisively has completely shredded what remains of its reputation.