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22 June 2023

HSRC to host a colloquium on the post-Zondo commission and the future of democracy

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Human Sciences Research Council

Pretoria, Wednesday, 20 June 2023 –The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) invites members of the media to a colloquium entitled Post Zondo: The Future of Democracy to be held  on Thursday, 22 June 2023 at the CSIR ICC from 9:30.

The keynote speaker at the event will be Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State.

The colloquium is intended to mark a seminal moment in the country’s trajectory, coming after the initial dust of the Zondo Commission has settled, as key figures in the state capture narrative are brought to book, and as the country heads towards a general election in 2024.

It presents an opportunity for “we the people” to take stock of what has happened and to begin to chart a way forward that has the best interests of all who live in South Africa at heart.

The colloquium has three purposes: to reflect on state capture and the findings of the Zondo Commission in a public arena outside of the courts; to gauge public appetite for democracy as the best form of governance for South Africa; and to read the mood of South African influencers (politicians, business people, civil society activists, academics, and investigative journalists) who have been standard-bearers for the democratic project.

Accordingly, the colloquium will feature presentations by a cabinet minister, senior government officials, the Chief Justice of South Africa, HSRC researchers, and leading civil society actors.

Each presentation will be followed by a period of discussion in which specially invited guests with expertise in the areas under consideration will lead the conversation – following which the discussion will be opened to the floor.


Details of the launch:

Date:                 22 June 2023

Time:                 9h30 – 16:30

Venue:              The CSIR International Convention Centre, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria

Send RSVP to before 10h00 on Wednesday, 21 June 2023.

NB: Access to the colloquium will be by means of a response to your RSVP, which you are kindly requested to present electronically or in hard copy together with an accepted form of identification (ID book, ID card, passport or driver’s licence).

Online attandence link will be shared later

Programme is available here:

For media enquiries:

Dr Lucky Ditaunyane, Cell: 0832276074, Email: Nematandani Cell: +27 82 765 9191 Email:

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Notes to the Editor

About the colloquium

The “Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State” – known colloquially as the Zondo Commission – presented the final volumes of its Report to the President of South Africa on 23 June 2022. The Commission’s volumes of the Report were released to the public by the President on every occasion of their submission to the President since January 2022.

The sheer scale of the investigations and their findings, presented in over 5 000 pages across six volumes, attest to the extent and the gravity of state capture as revealed through the evidence painstakingly assembled and distilled by the Commission – evidence which has far-reaching implications for the democratic future of the South African state. The immense amount of data generated by the Commission that can be – and is being – used for investigations and prosecutions; but it goes beyond this: the data, in excess of a petabyte in size, should be available to anyone who has an interest in the contents of the reports and their supporting evidence.

As the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) we are committed to facilitating access to this data for scholars and researchers who are able to analyse what happened over the period ruled by the Guptas, Bosasa and other captors and predators of the state. We cannot find solutions if we do not understand the root causes and tactics of state capture and we cannot prevent future abuse if we cannot recognise the patterns and signs of the abuse of power.

As part of its future role coming out of its support for the Commission’s work the HSRC conceptualised and launched its own initiative in 2022 to shore up the “Future of Democracy”: a project, led by the HSRC with the CSIR as partner, to provide ongoing research support to the Commission; to curate and preserve the records of the Commission in a special-purpose library; to gauge attitudes to the Zondo Commission’s findings and to democracy itself through public opinion surveys; and to convene a colloquium and publish a book on the future of democracy.

The upcoming colloquium is one of the highlights of this research project, where Chief Justice Zondo will share his thoughts on the experience of leading the Commission and how the work he started can be taken forward. It is hoped that a key output will be a seminal book on the future of democracy.

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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