What is your word of the year?: State Capture, White Monopoly Capital or Blesser

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Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma (Photo: GCIS)
Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma (Photo: GCIS)

Johannesburg - "State Capture", "White Monopoly Capital" and "Blesser" have one thing in common.

No, it’s not the Guptas. Actually, all three have been shortlisted for the 2017 South African word of the year.

The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) announced the shortlist on Friday afternoon.

According to PanSALB, the words capture the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of South Africans during the year of the #Guptaleaks; the Cabinet reshuffle, and Bonang's much anticipated book.

PanSALB spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi said: "This is the first time that we will have our own word of the year."

The term State Capture gained fame after it was used in the title of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report.

The 355-page report essentially found there was political corruption through the capture of prominent individuals and state institutions in order to control decision making, to benefit private interests.

Madonsela outlined in detail in her report just how much control the Gupta family has over the country.

The phrase White Monopoly Capital (WMC) was the narrative pushed in a campaign by the UK-based PR company Bell Pottinger to divert attention from the Gupta family.

The word alludes to the fact that most of the economy is still predominantly owned by white businesses.

A blesser is described as - often a man of means who bestows on a blessee - usually a young woman - extravagant gifts and luxurious holidays in exchange for her company.

Sadly Dololo, Wololo, Satafrika and Tholukuthi, failed to make the cut.

The winner will be announced on Monday on International Dictionary Day.

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