"Zuma has a set of outcomes in mind but no clear strategic plan of action"

The convener of a report implicating Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in alleged efforts by President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family to raid state assets, says their overall analysis of state capture report is sound and that they have never claimed that it is right.

Professor Mark Swilling convened the study by eight leading academics from four of the South Africa's top universities.

The report entitled “Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is being stolen.” suggests Gigaba’s appointment may enable Zuma to control the state procurement office and a unit set up to combat money laundering, undermining the institutions’ key role in safeguarding the nation’s finances.

READ: Betrayal of the Promise Report: Academics connect the dots of state capture

Responding to criticism from the finance minister's spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete , Swilling says the study is useful for those who would like to make sense of the so-called state capture.

We are confident that the analytical framework and the overall analysis is sound. We don't claim it is right, that is not what academics do. We claim that this may be useful for those who would like to make sense of what is going on and if it is not useful, like the spokesman for Gigaba, that is his choice.

 Professor Mark Swilling, Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University / Convenor

He explains that the report was compiled using newspaper reports, new information on the structures offered by brokers as well as the total amount of illicit funds that have gone into international circuits.

He responds to criticisms from journalists that it contains nothing new. he says only chapter 2 relied on newspaper reports.

Chapter 4 is new information on the structure of how brokers and patrons work and the total amount of illicit funds that have gone into international financial circuits.

The role of academics is not the same as journalists, we are not there to break news stories, we are there to provide an interpretive framework that provides meaning. So the journalists have done a great job but we need to separate the forests from the trees so we can make sense of what is going on and our argument is that there is a silent coup that is taking place....

 Professor Mark Swilling, Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University / Convenor

He suggests that this has been a 'political project' centered on President Jacob Zuma.

We mean a political project driven by a tower elite centered around Jacob Zuma that is focused on two things, one - looting and secondly consolidating the position of political power so that they can survive as long as possible. However, we shy away from suggesting that there is strong strategic coordinating centre that somehow is mapping all this out in a very coherent manner.

 Professor Mark Swilling, Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University / Convenor

He says it can rather be seen as a rather ramshackle affair stitched together with a "whole bunch of kitchen cabinets" vying with each other for Zuma's favour.

Zuma has a set of outcomes in mind but doesn't have a clear strategic plan of action of how things get executed and done on a daily basis.

 Professor Mark Swilling, Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University / Convenor

He says it is not easy to dismantle those involved have political protection, made more difficult because all the 'good cops' were removed.

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview....

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