My collaborator, Thembani Phaweni, and I have been visualising the State Capture Inquiry’s reports as they’ve been released. You can read about the first visualisation here. Below is a breakdown of what the second report looks like as a network visualisation (technically a ‘named entity co-occurence network‘).
Data visualisation is a great way to breakdown a complex topic. We’ve previously visualised the following documents relating to state capture for your reading pleasure: Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report and Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers book.
We use NLP (natural language processing) to construct these networks. We start by extracting the “parts of speech” and focus on the named entities (i.e. proper nouns). We then connect the named entities if they appear within a certain number of words of each other (i.e. they are being spoken about together). This gives us the below network. The result is a bit messy with some duplicates and unrelated nodes, but is still very readable as it highlights the main patterns.
The overall network
Key movers include former President Zuma and the Guptas, as well as a host of other names that are very familiar by now after years of extensive reporting by the media, including Siyabonga Gama, Salim Essa, Anoj Singh, Lynne Brown, Malusi Gigaba, Brian Molefe, Garry Pita, and more.
If you want to explore the full network in detail, you can download a hi-res version. Just remember that it contains some dirty data e.g. duplicate nodes, nodes that don’t refer to entities, etc. Such is the nature of NLP (natural language processing).
Isolating the Zuma-Gupta ‘racketeering enterprise’
The Zuma-Gupta racketeering enterprise’s (the term used in the report) tendrils stretched deep into all aspects of Transnet and Denel, but this is what it looked like in isolation. Here’s some useful further reading on the topic of how the network worked.
The Transnet network
Here are the key Transnet entities, including former Chief Exec, Siyabonga Gama; former president, Jacob Zuma; and his lieutenant, Malusi Gigaba, who allegedly leveraged his role in Public Enterprises. Also prominent is former Transnet board chairperson, Mafika Mkhwanazi, whose alleged shenanigans you can read about here and here.
The Denel network
This is the Denel network where the Guptas used their VR Laser company to capture that organisation. Prominent are former Denel Chief Exec, Riaz Saloojee, who allegedly brought in Salim Essa but who also claims he refused a Gupta bribe; former Group CEO, Zwelakhe Ntshepe, who allegedly deviated from supply chain management policy to award VR Laser a dodgy contract; and, former Zuma lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, who helped undermine Denel and who is now might be disbarred. All are accused of playing an important a role in Denel’s destruction.
The Transnet-Homix-Neotel network
Next up, we have the Homix/Neotel sidebar. Neotel partnered with Gupta-linked company, Homix, to score an allegedly dodgy deal with Transnet. To their credit, this was brought to light by auditors, Deloitte. Further reading.
The McKinsey-Regiments-Trillian network
This brings us to McKinsey, and Gupta-linked Regiments Capital and Trillian Capital, who both allegedly benefitted from dodgy deals and kickbacks allegedly thanks to folks like former Transnet Treasurer, Phetolo Ramosebudi.
The ANC’s Public Enterprises network
Finally, we get to the ANC’s Lynne Brown and Brian Molefe, who the report is scathing about. From the report:
“The assertion by Brown that she cannot remember anything about the conversations is rejected. She has told a deliberate untruth in this regard. Why would she lie about her telephone conversations with [Gupta lieutenant Salim] Essa? “The only possible conclusion is that Brown was a witting participant in the Guptas’ schemes to capture Denel and Eskom.”
There you have it: a whistle-stop tour of the second State Capture Inquiry report. Hopefully it’s given you a decent bird’s eye view of just how State Capture was affected by the Zuma-Gupta ‘racketeering enterprise’. Let’s see what the third report has in store for us. 🔥🔥🔥