Kebblegate set a precedent for institutional take-overs.
While Jacob Zuma and team seem to have perfected the technique of institutional “capture”, Investec was at it a decade ago when it bagged the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in order to control which cases don’t get heard in court and remain covered-up forever. This is exactly what happened to potential prosecutions that should have flowed from the Kebble frauds. In hindsight, with the wildly complicated Kebble saga unravelled, it is possible to see how Investec achieved this “coup”.
Law enforcement involves four distinct entities, each of which should be independent of the others, and of everything else: the police, or investigators, who must “uphold and enforce” the law; the prosecutors, whose mandate is to act “without fear, favour or prejudice”; the bench, or judiciary, of magistrates and judges; and the correctional services. If one or more of these four falls into compromised hands, the entire system is at risk.
It is arguable that prosecutors are the most appealing target for high-skills white-collar criminals. The NPA has long tended to hire external “experts” to assist in investigations and case preparation for the prosecution of high-profile white collar criminals. While the decision of whether or not to proceed with such a case lies with the prosecutor, much of his or her role in the white collar area has thus long been privatised.