An article in the Guardian on 11th July was concerned with investigations into alleged corrupt practices of logistics company, Bosasa, and the the most dramatic evidence yet of corruption within the ruling African National Congress (ANC). It says that after the ban on the ANC was lifted, companies, fronted by black owners and managers, obtained shares in mining companies and contracts from the state. “black economic empowerment” (or BEE) is the state’s primary means of economic redistribution, an affirmative-action plan stipulating that anyone wishing to do business with the state has to have a certain quota of black ownership and management. Former president Jacob Zuma has been named in testimony as allegedly receiving gifts from the owner of Bosasa and playing a role in stopping the prosecution of his company, which first came under investigation in 2007. The case is cited as an example of “state capture” – the way in which private individuals and companies have commandeered organs of state to redirect public resources into their own hands, and have gutted those institutions responsible for protecting the country against such corruption. These include the police, the prosecution authority, the tax collection service and even parliament itself.
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