Another week, another expensive inquiry — and this time into allegations of state capture, which public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan estimates has cost SA at least R100bn. At a cost of roughly half our annual health budget, it is not an amount to ignore. But is spending the estimated R230m for the first six months of deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s inquiry into state capture a case of throwing good money after bad? Given SA’s track record with inquiries, it is hard to argue otherwise. Nothing has come of the findings of the inquiry into the Marikana massacre, which cost the state R157m and dragged on for four years, and the families of those victims are yet to receive a cent in damages. Judge Willie Seriti’s four-year-long probe into SA’s multibillion-rand arms deal cost R137m yet laughably found no evidence of fraud or corruption. Zondo’s probe will be the most expensive in recent history and is likely to drag on for at least two years. History tells us it is likely to ...

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