State ‘capture’ or the nature of the state?
Across the political spectrum, individuals and organisations have been expressing their disgust and shock that a faction, indeed a single family in the form of the Guptas, have ‘captured’ the state. As a consequence, there have been calls for state ‘capture’ to be ended though firing Zuma.
The Gupta’s offering cabinet posts to politicians, if true, was brazen and corrupt. While the fact that a section of capitalists – in this case a family – have such influence over the state should disgust us; it should not come as a surprise. To understand why, it is important to look at what states are, why they arose, and whose interests they serve. Coupled to this, it is essential to look at a few examples, amongst many, of how the state and capitalism in South Africa have always been defined by cronyism and corruption.