State capture: an entirely new type of corruption

This report explores the harnessing of South Africa’s state apparatus to serve private interests.

This report explores the phenomenon of state capture – the harnessing of the state apparatus of South Africa to serve private interests. It looks specifically at the role of the Gupta family and their relationship with prominent politicians, including the country’s former president Jacob Zuma. It is an account of a toxic mix of politically infused business, abuse of state resources and intimidation – all of which damaged state institutions and underlined the need for transparency in government.


About the author

Judith February, research consultant for the ISS, is a governance specialist, columnist and lawyer. She was director of the HSRC’s governance unit from 2012 to 2014 and, before that, headed Idasa’s Political Information and Monitoring Service for nine years. She is a regular media analyst of South African politics and author of Turning and Turning: Exploring the complexities of SA’s democracy.


Picture: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

Development partners
This report is funded by the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria. The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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