“President Ramaphosa asserted that those who pushed back from within were able to curb some of the excesses of state capture. Was this enough?
“It is indisputable that state capture continued during the years that President Ramaphosa was 'resisting', and that the consequences (to the economy, to government, to our society) have been severe. Money continued to be moved through illicit channels to private beneficiaries. Corruption continued to entrench itself within the institutions of the state.
“Considering the dire straits we find ourselves in, the effectiveness of President Ramaphosa's decision to remain within the state and party is not a given.”
Zondo went on to say: “While no counterfactual can be proven, we must ask whether these processes could have been arrested sooner had more powerful figures, like President Ramaphosa, been willing to act with more urgency.
“They instead chose to work 'strategically' from within. The crux of President Ramaphosa's 'balance of forces' explanation is that any other approach would not have been allowed by the ruling party, and he and others were unwilling to damage the ANC by publicly going against it.”
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.