South Africa: Like the Nazis, the State Capture Culprits Have Left a Paper Trail for All to See


State Capture relies on the guise of legality to establish the infrastructure of enriching a politically connected few. And so there is a plethora of board minutes, ministerial letters or electronic communications few thought would ever see the light of day in relation to dodgy dealings at State-owned Entities (SoEs). The parliamentary inquiry into Eskom State Capture since last year has seen those in charge of governance, finances and procurement explain away such documents amid claims of amnesia and a determinedly blinkered, technisist view of responsibilities. But the paper trail remains.

The Nazis' meticulous recordkeeping of mass murder, genocide, torture and brutality by functionaries and officials was key to the successful Nuremburg trials convictions -and even in present-day prosecutions. Today many of these documents form a public repository of information that has also allowed survivors and their families access to information.

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 the unravelling East German administration revealed scrupulously detailed files kept by the Stasi, despite the secret police's efforts to destroy records. As part of the reunification process, citizens were allowed since 1991 to access files that showed the extent and depth of its informant network, with family members and...

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