How the Guptas “Captured” South Africa with the help of Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma, is due to give evidence this week at a commission set up to investigate “state capture” during his time in office.


What is state capture?

State capture describes a form of corruption in which businesses and politicians conspire to influence a country’s decision-making process to advance their own interests.

The concept of state capture was defined in a 2003 World Bank report on corruption in eastern Europe and central Asia.

 As most democracies have laws to make sure this does not happen, state capture also involves weakening those laws, and neutralising any agencies that enforce them.



The “Zuptas”

In South African, the revelations from the inquiry concern the relationship between two families. the Zumas,and the Guptas, three Indian-born brothers who moved to South Africa after the fall of apartheid.

The two families become so closely linked that a joint term was coined for them – the “Zuptas”.

All parties have denied the allegations against them, describing them as politically motivated.

The Guptas set up a  portfolio of companies that enjoyed lucrative contracts with South African government departments and state-owned conglomerate, whilst employing several Zuma family members, including the president’s son, Duduzane,  in senior positions.

According to testimony heard at the inquiry, the Guptas went to great lengths to influence their most important client, the South African state.

Public officials responsible for various state bodies say they were directly instructed by the Guptas to take decisions that would advance the brothers’ business interests.

It is alleged that compliance was rewarded with money and promotion, while disobedience was punished with dismissal.

All parties have denied the allegations against them, describing them as politically motivated.

Having fled South Africa, the Guptas are now living in Dubai.


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Meanwhile, Jacob Zuma created more controversy by posting this video online.

There has been an outpouring of reaction to the video posted by Jacob Zuma, mocking the Zuma must fall campaign. 

Some on social media have said the video of the former president poking fun at his haters is funny, while others have described it as disrespectful ahead of his appearance at the state capture inquiry.



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