It is apposite to quote the late Kofi Annan on access to information: "Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." Over the past week there were three public inquiries of significance running concurrently — into state capture, the governance of the SA Revenue Service under the stewardship of Tom Moyane, and Steinhoff. It has become fashionable to roll one’s eyes at commissions of inquiry as if they serve some sort of nefarious end. This newspaper has pointed out the high cost of these commissions. The conspiracy theorists will tell you on Twitter that they are part of one giant political cover-up. More cogent is the argument that they consume vast resources that would be better spent on bringing the culprits to book in court.

The conspiracy theory is easy to dismiss. There is simply no way in which these commissions can be seen as advantageous to the perpetrators of state capture or the corporate mone...

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