‘State capture’ has become a defining phrase of South Africa’s current politics. Rather than referencing a single corruption scandal, it is used to refer to influence wielded by powerful private interests on government policy, the structure of economic and political institutions and, ultimately, on crucial government decisions, to advance their own business and personal interests.
This submission, made by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), presents arguments on contemporary State capture in South Africa with a specific focus on the arms sector. In particular, it examines the alleged irregular and corrupt activities that have occurred in recent times at Denel, a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) that operates in the military industry and the global arms-trade.
The submission argues that this case, like the Arms Deal, represents a continuation of corruption and corrupt networks deeply embedded in government and the private sector in South Africa.
Among others, the submission considers the following key questions:
- What was the rationale behind changing the Denel board in July 2015 against the recommendations of the Department of Public Enterprises?
- What was the motivation behind appointing Daniel Mantsha as Denel Board Chairperson, considering his lack of experience?
- Why did Denel choose VR Laser as a partner in the joint venture in an important market like Asia/Pacific when VR Laser had no discernible footprint in this market?
- Why were the Guptas sent, through email, official and confidential governmental correspondences relating to Denel?