Minister Brown supports Hawks probe into state capture

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says a proper investigation is the only way that can lift the clouds hanging over state owned companies.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Picture: Gaye Davis/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she supports the Hawks' investigation into allegations of state capture.

In June, the crime investigation unit launched an official probe into state capture after receiving evidence.

Brown says that a proper investigation process is the only way that can lift the clouds hanging over state-owned companies.

On Tuesday, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) told Members of Parliament that the problem of state capture extends beyond state-owned companies like Eskom, Prasa, Denel and SAA.

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana was addressing Parliament's Public Enterprises Committee, which is preparing to launch an inquiry into power utility Eskom, including its relations with the Gupta family.

Mpulwana said that state capture is of such a scale that it’s a threat to the country’s democracy.

"A large-scale design, a nefarious Mafia-style control of public enterprises and other significant governmental agencies and state organs and careful analysis makes the case for the following observable trends of inappropriate control of state systems through a power that is pivoting around the president of the republic."

He said state capture extends further than state-owned entities and has also infected other organs of state,
reaching down to provincial and local government

He made it clear that churches have a duty to speak out on state capture, rejecting President Jacob Zuma’s assertion that they should concern themselves only with religious matters.

The committee's inquiry is expected to get underway in earnest next week.

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Additional reporting by Gaye Davis.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)