In­quiry into state cap­ture needed now

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

WE ARE liv­ing in an era that has nei­ther the ben­e­fit of a road map nor of hind­sight to let us nav­i­gate. Ev­ery day we are numbed by more rev­e­la­tions of wrong­do­ing, and we just call it state cap­ture.

It is all-en­com­pass­ing, made worse by the lack of ef­fort by those im­pli­cated to even deny it.

We are told our state has been cap­tured, we are told by whom, and then we sit back and ac­cept it.

This week, our pres­i­dent went to Par­lia­ment, where he was mer­ci­lessly heck­led in a man­ner that would be un­heard of any­where else in Africa, but re­mains tes­ti­mony to our demo­cratic mir­a­cle.

Re­ports of the event, with few ex­cep­tions, didn’t make the front page of news­pa­pers. It is symp­to­matic of the gen­eral malaise af­fect­ing all of us. The ab­nor­mal has be­come the new nor­mal.

Just as we be­came in­ured to vi­o­lent crime be­cause it was ubiq­ui­tous and we were pow­er­less to make a dif­fer­ence, so we are be­com­ing in­ured to the in­cred­i­ble tsunami of rev­e­la­tions re­gard­ing the pres­i­dent – and the tit-for-tat snip­ing of jock­ey­ing fac­tions within the rul­ing ANC be­fore the end-ofyear elec­tive con­fer­ence.

It is a danger­ous po­si­tion to find our­selves in – and it is our lead­ers who are mostly to blame.

Al­le­ga­tions, whether in leaked emails or not, have to be an­swered. They have to be ad­dressed – and not by an­gry de­nials un­sup­ported by ev­i­dence. If they aren’t, we run the real risk of peo­ple dis­en­gag­ing from our so­ci­ety and dis­re­gard­ing the very in­sti­tu­tions that make us who we are and cre­ate the frame­work of how we live.

The con­se­quences of that kind of ap­a­thy are stark and sim­ple – rev­o­lu­tion.

We need a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry into the al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture.

The pres­i­dent can­not ap­point this com­mis­sion; he can have no role what­so­ever in its com­po­si­tion or its es­tab­lish­ment, be­cause he is one of the in­di­vid­u­als ac­cused of be­ing cen­tral to this en­tire saga.

We need this com­mis­sion now, be­cause we might not get an­other chance later.

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