The State Capture Report of South Africa: The Capture of Zuma? Who are the Guptas?

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South African president, Jacob Zuma finds himself between a rock and a hard place. The state capture report, released by public protector, Thuli Madonsela on 2nd November, 2016 is laden with hard evidence of corruption on the part of the president of South Africa with respect to various irregularities in the appointment of cabinet ministers, directors and the awarding of state contracts and benefits to the Gupta- related businesses.

A question on the lips of many, “which entity is the Gupta family and how did the members of this family manage to entangle themselves in this web of a scam?” The Indian- South African family is mainly noted for their mega businesses, the first being Sahara computers. They are engaged in a wide range of other businesses in fields and sectors such as energy, media and mining. The Gupta family’s first encounter with then vice-president, Jacob Zuma was in 2003. This first meeting opened doors for subsequent link ups and the creation of a bond between these two parties.

The Gupta family was an astute supporter of Zuma during his struggles for leadership of African National Congress (ANC) in 2005. The awareness of such a relationship between Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family, which has been in existence for the past 13 years brings to the forefront the reality of these corruption allegations and makes the findings of the State Capture report less of a cock and bull story. No matter how damning the evidence may seem and no matter how much the evidence points icy fingers at President Jacob Zuma, we still cannot conclude that there has actually been a breach of law or assume the findings are 100% accurate. Surely, something might have been overlooked. Or not? The right course of the law must take its place notwithstanding.

What are the implications of the release of this report? On first thought, one may suggest that the President of the Republic of South Africa steps down. However, a further question arises out of this. Would he escape the sharp edges of this knife he has supposedly sharpened for himself? On the other hand, taking into consideration what is on the ground, Jacob Zuma, still has presidential duties to perform in spite of all the brouhaha.

 

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