Summary of ‘State capture’

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‘State capture’ summary
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“State capture” may sound like an academic concept pulled from the pages of a political science textbook; but in South Africa, it has become a terrible reality. The term refers to private companies colluding with public officials to shape the country’s institutions in their favor. Writing for The Guardian, investigative reporter Mark Gevisser details how South Africa’s post-apartheid regime has proceeded down the dark path of state capture, using the high-profile corruption inquiry against businessman and former anti-apartheid movement supporter Gavin Watson as a case in point.

About the Author

Mark Gevisser is a journalist and author of Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir.



Gavin Watson is a white South African who played a prominent role in the country’s anti-apartheid movement. After the end of the apartheid regime, Watson leveraged his personal ties with members of the newly-elected African National Congress to secure lucrative government contracts and mining concessions for his many companies – among them, the logistics firm Bosasa. By putting black people in charge of the companies, Watson managed to take advantage of the post-apartheid government’s “black economic empowerment” program designed to benefit South Africa’s economically disadvantaged black majority. Between 2010 and 2016, Bosasa earned government contracts worth $140...

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