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SAFTU broadly welcomes Commission of Inquiry’s term of reference but urges them to look at all state capturers


The South African Federation of Trade Unions broadly welcomes the terms of reference which will guide the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture and corruption.

We hope that these will be sufficiently wide to enable the inquiry to investigate all the crimes referred to in the former Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report and leave no stone unturned to expose all those people, in both the public and private sectors, who have been involved in the plundering of the nation’s resources for their personal enrichment.

The federation specifically welcomes the commitment to investigate the President, cabinet ministers and officials of state-owned enterprises, but also companies and business entities, involved in corruption in the awarding of tenders and contracts. And SAFTU insists that there must be no exceptions.

SAFTU also notes the statement that “these terms of reference may be added to, varied or amended from time to time” and urges the commission to add a look at the broader issue of the origins of ‘state capture’.

We insist that an investigation of state capture has to take into consideration that big business lobbied successfully to get the ANC leadership to abandon the radical demands of the Freedom Charter, such as the call for the economy to be shared and that mineral wealth, banks and monopoly industries be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.

The state as a result no longer serves the interests of broader society but the narrow interests of the multi-billionaire class. That’s why the face of the propertyless class, poverty, unemployment and inequality is black and working class. The people who have every reason to celebrate freedom and democracy in economic terms are white and the same old class of the rich. To SAFTU that is the real state capture.

SAFTU would like to be allowed to make a submission on how this capture happened and how it manifests itself today.

This kind of state capturer uses more subtle tactics than the Guptas and their cronies but are not fundamentally different. They both represent an inherently corrupt capitalist economic system, which steals the wealth created by the working class and channels it into the pockets of an elite of billionaires, which has made South Africa the world’s most unequal society.