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 People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa
Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
First hearings: 8-12 November 2017

Given the failure of state institutions to fully investigate allegations of corruption and state capture, members of civil society have today announced the creation of a People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa. We urge members of the public to submit information to be presented at the first hearings of the tribunal in November 2017.

The People’s Tribunal aims to allow an inclusive and evidence-based discussion on the inter-connected nature of state capture in South Africa, joining the dots over the past four decades from apartheid-era economic crime to the post-apartheid arms deal and the current era of what we call state capture. The tribunal will hear evidence relating to each of these eras over five days.

The People’s Tribunal is organised by citizens, and is not a statutory body. Members of the public can submit evidence, which will be introduced and examined by a small team of evidence leaders. A panel of seven adjudicators will consider these submissions and make a written report that will be presented to the public.

The first hearings will focus on the arms trade across the three eras identified above. We thus invite anyone with information on the following cases to submit this information to the organising committee:

  • Alleged breaches of international and South African law by actors who facilitated the illegal supply of weapons to apartheid South Africa between 1977 and 1994.
  • Alleged breaches of South African and International law by corporations and individuals in the process of the 1999 arms deal.
  • Alleged breaches of South African and International law in relation to current allegations of state capture as they relate to Denel.

People are encouraged to come forward with both documentary evidence and first-hand experience. All submissions will be treated confidentially, and it is not required to publicly present the evidence at the tribunal. A select number of submissions will be given an opportunity for verbal presentation. Information will only be used with the consent of the witness and may be presented to the tribunal and adjudicators in different forms.

The tribunal’s organising committee comprises a range of civil society organisations, including the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Corruption Watch, Foundation for Human Rights, Open Secrets, Public Affairs Research Institute, Right2Know Campaign and the South African Council of Churches.

The deadline for submissions is 22 October 2017. All submissions should be made to the tribunal secretariat (c/o Open Secrets):

Telephone: (021) 447 2701

For further information on the tribunal, visit

If you would like more comment or have questions, please contact:

  • Michael Marchant, Open Secrets: 082 772 2936
  • Nomonde Nyembe, Centre for Applied Legal Studies: 011 717 8606
  • Leanne Govindsamy, Corruption Watch: 011 242 3900
  • Mamashoabathe Noko, Foundation for Human Rights: 011 484 0390
  • Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Public Affairs Research Institute: 011 482 1739
  • Carina Conradie, Right2Know Campaign: 071 571 4470