A grouping of South Africa’s most successful businessmen including the bosses of Vodacom‚ Anglo American‚ Discovery‚ Standard Bank and Investec has announced they cannot stand by any longer without speaking out against “state capture“.

In full page advertisements in leading Sunday newspapers‚ Business Leadership South Africa calls on all elected leaders to stop state capture‚ pointing the finger at President Jacob Zuma’s “irrational” midnight Cabinet reshuffle and close relationship with a family of businessmen‚ which it did not name.

Announcing “South Africa is in crisis“‚ the group denounces the propaganda‚ racism and lies to misrepresent the country’s anger with corruption.

“With few exceptions‚ our state institutions and enterprises are poorly governed‚ inefficiently managed and over-debted‚ functioning way below their capacity and the expectations and needs of citizens‚

“South Africa is being divided into three groups: an elite who benefit from patronage and corruption‚ those too fearful to do anything about it; and millions who will suffer as a result.

“All of these developments can be traced back to state capture centred mainly around the president and one family‚ aimed at the illegitimate acquisition of South Africa’s natural and financial assets.

“BLSA does not accept this. South Africans … should not stand by and allow this to become the ‘new normal’.

“…We have no desire‚ intention or mandate to involve ourselves in party politics.

“However‚ we regard the present situation as the political and economic low point of our young democracy. We know that without decisive action by leaders in every sphere of South African life‚ our future is bleak.

“As corporate leaders‚ BLSA makes an urgent appeal to all our elected representatives in parliament and the ruling party and alliance partners‚ in particular‚ to exercise their conscience in taking whatever immediate steps are needed to reverse corruption and state capture and to restore confidence in our country’s leadership‚ our economy and the future of South Africa.”

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) is an independent association whose members represent South African big business leadership and major multinational investors. It states it is a forum for South Africa’s business leaders to exchange ideas on matters of current interest to the large companies of South Africa and other business bodies and to facilitate an effective business dialogue with government and other stakeholders.