Gupta fatigue has set in.

As a country we’re holding back yawns over yet another revelation of how the Guptas defrauded us with the help of their pimpernel, Salim Essa.

But we must stay awake, stay engaged, because the damage is so deep, so extensive that it represents a profound crisis for our democracy. The only way to deal with that damage is not to avert our eyes, but to master the detail and demand consequences up and down the chain of command.

As an object lesson – a case study in the enormous cost of state and corporate corrosion – it is hard to match Transnet’s R54-billion purchase of 1064 locomotives – supposedly needed to meet a rail-freight revival dubbed the Market Demand Strategy (MDS). Transnet was the ground zero of state capture and the focus of amaBhungane’s first articles on that phenomenon. Now a report by law firm Werksmans (assisted by forensic accountant Harvey Wainer) has unpacked the train-smash at Transnet in all its gory particulars, filling in gaps in our own knowledge and confirming the accuracy of our reporting. Transnet commissioned the report following the #GuptaLeaks exposures, but has not implemented its recommendations. It is impossible to overstate the crisis: the R54-billion cost is the same as the Arms Deal in nominal terms, and the Werksmans report demonstrates that Transnet failed to uphold and protect the national interest in nearly every respect……more