State capture inquiry witness Angelo Agrizzi’s evidence about the mechanics of corruption at facilities management company Bosasa has gripped SA’s usually fickle news cycle for a week now. The testimony of the former Bosasa COO has dominated headlines, social media debates and conversation in a way that is arguably far more significant than it was for much of the testimony that came before. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because the as-yet untested evidence given by the self-confessed Bosasa paymaster confirms what many ordinary South Africans have long suspected: that the law enforcement and oversight bodies meant to protect them are compromised and corrupted. If Agrizzi is to be believed, SA’s watchdogs have been enjoying the very same braai packs and cash-stuffed Louis Vuitton handbags used to capture the politically powerful.

His testimony suggests it is terrifyingly easy to ensure that an apparent slam-dunk corruption case never sees the inside of a courtroom, and that a parli...

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