The Claude Leon Foundation



Open Secrets was formally established in 2017 and is based in Cape Town from where it works for social justice. It wants a society in which the powerful do not monopolise resources and influence. It is a fearlessly independent African civil society organisation and holds the profiteers of economic crime, human rights abuses, and war to account. They are powerful corporations and private individuals, along with complicit state institutions and politicians.

It aims to go where it is hard, to disrupt networks of power and preserve its independence by not accepting funding from corporations or governments.

Open Secrets promotes the right to truth through investigating and exposing private-sector economic crimes. It contributes to social justice and the fight against impunity for such crimes, which devastate the most marginalised in society, through legal and advocacy work that holds powerful private actors to account. Its primary focus is on the financial services sector (such as banks and their intermediaries), which receives relatively little attention despite its massive economic influence.

It focuses on under-researched areas and it is committed to working collaboratively. This ensures that it’s efforts complement and support the important work being done by partners in civil society, which include social movements, strategic litigation organisations, and investigative journalists across borders.

Its investigations, legal and advocacy unit currently has four primary work streams:
1. War Profiteers
2. State Capture Profiteers
3. Welfare Profiteers
4. State Capture Profiteers


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