Ramaphosa State Capture Inquiry live stream what time

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State Capture: Justice will be served, says Thuli Madonsela

South Africa’s former public protector says the state capture inquiry had managed to excavate a level of detail that would never have been uncovered in an ordinary investigation.

Ramaphosa State Capture Inquiry live stream what time

Photo: Supplied

Thuli Madonsela says culprits will be held accountable amid frustrations over the failure to prosecute those fingered in state capture corruption allegations. 

When asked about the consequences for those involved in state capture during a webinar convened by financial services group PSG, Madonsela was adamant that people will go to jail. 

“Will it be all of them? I’m not sure.”

Madonsela explained that South Africa needs to bear in mind the ongoing impact of state capture.

“We need to remember that during state capture, institutions were hollowed out and the NPA has had to rebuild itself. Criminals operate in syndicates and removing all tentacles is a process that takes time.”

Madonsela said she gleaned valuable lessons during her tenure as public protector, carefully considering which cases to pursue. 

“If you deal with a case and lose, you give the wrongdoer the authority to say, ‘I’ve been investigated and found not guilty.’”

“People might not like this, but I believe that going forward, we need to think about different ways of justice,” citing the TRC as such an example.

Nelson Mandela led the way for a “different approach to justice,” which resulted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she said.

“Imagine if the state capture commission had been structured in such a way that there was a self-disclosure process and an investigation process, and the self-disclosure process guaranteed that you wouldn’t end up in jail, though there would be some kind of payback to society.”

“I think this would get more people telling us what happened, and I think we would be moving faster.”

Lessons from Zondo Commission

Madonsela said it is too late to change the terms of reference for the Zondo Commission now, but that South Africa can learn from this process to improve effectiveness going forward.

“The idea of a commission of inquiry was that it was supposed to be cheaper and faster, but it has proven to be the opposite. We need to look honestly at this and establish what went well and what didn’t.

“Another great advantage of the commission is that it has brought justice back to the people… if you consider the commission as opposed to the courts, you’ll see that far more people are watching the commission. That’s a real victory for South Africa, because for democracy to hold, people must stay engaged.”


Youth offers hope

Madonsela said South Africa’s youth offers hope in a time of despondency.

“I’m finding that Generation Z and Millennials are truly committed to building a functioning society. It might not always be visible, but I think a quiet revolution of uprightness is brewing and the days are numbered for those that think that they can rely on young people to support them when they are corrupt.”

She said South Africa has many ills that may seem insurmountable, but urged her compatriots not to lose hope. 

Law not the silver bullet

Madonsela said the law is an important instrument of social change, but it has its own shortcomings, adding that there needs to be huge investments in prevention strategies.

“As part of investing in prevention, we need to teach humans to be humans. I don’t think we are doing enough to teach children to be humans in our society today.”

She pointed to research which found that children are taught about human rights, they start to value themselves as human beings. 

“We need to invest in society, in teaching people how to be abantu, and it’s called ubuntu. We have to teach our children how to be functional members of our society.”

Madonsela said no individual can “fix our broken society,” but urged South Africans to replace despondency with hope.

“Now is a time to teach and demonstrate the values that we would like to see upheld in our country.”