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'Countries with low competitiveness are vulnerable to state capture'

Dr Joel Hellman says countries need preventative measures to limit attempts by individuals or firms to influence rules and regulations.

A video screengrab of the commission of inquiry into state capture.

JOHANNESBURG - Countries with low competitiveness and low economic competition are more vulnerable to state capture.

That’s according to two American experts who are testifying at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Dr Joel Hellman, an American expert, who is testifying via live video streaming says countries need preventative measures to limit attempts by individuals or firms to influence rules and regulations.

The commission is tasked with investigating claims that the controversial Gupta family used their influence with then-president Jacob Zuma to take control of key state-owned enterprises and departments.

“And the more transparency and openness there is in the whole process, the more difficult, if not impossible, it is for any single individual, firm or group to shape a law, rule or regulation that impacts the entire country to their own advantage, at the expense of the country.”

He describes state capture as a form of corruption that affects the very formation of rules of laws and regulations.

“The privatisation of state-owned enterprise can become this remarkable arena for state capture, which would have tremendous implications for the way the market economy will be structured."

WATCH: State Capture Inquiry - Day 8

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)