Monday, May 29, 2017

President Jacob G. Zuma gets away with it, again, as NEC vote to give him their confidence, and slam critics

'And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids' is the famous line from the Hanna-Barbera children's show, Scooby Doo.

The monsters, when they were unmasked as ordinary, everyday people, with a penchent for criminal enterprise, would say that line, rote, to the naughty gang of misfits, who delighted in it.

The ANC NEC might be a naughty gang of misfits, but there is no mystery who and what is behind the almost mythological chimera of state capture, in South Africa. You might say, yes: it's the Guptas Bros., that is: Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and Varun Gupta, who live in their lair, the Sahara Estate, in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, a.k.a. the Saxonwold Shabeen, and don't forget their up and coming honourary member, Duduzane Zuma. That of course forgets Zuma's wife, Bongi Ngema-Zuma, and his daughter, Duduzile Zuma. But, let's take it a step further, Malusi Gigaba was said to have captured several SOEs for the Guptas during his tenure as Public Enterprises Minister. He is also linked to them in media article after media article, along with Brian Molefe of Eskom fame, who seemed to resign/retire and then return to Eskom, in his same position, at the bright old age of +-51. To think, just a short time ago, Shaun Abrahams, the leader of the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) was pushing prosecution against Pravin Gordhan for hiring back a retiree as a consultant ...

Shall we talk about Bathebile Dlamini (affectionately known for skipping out on commitments and events, and as 'resting drunk face', because citizens think she is often drunk, but this has been denied, so she must just look drunk)? Her activity with Cash Paymaster Services hasn't quenched her rising star in the ANC.

Or shall we speak of African National Congress Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe ... who just recently returned from a meeting with Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and others, where, according to Botswanan media reports, confirmed by Gwede Mantashe, they determined that the two major South African opposition parties, the DA (Democratic Alliance) and the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) were funded by America and a western plot, along with NGOs (charitable organisations), and hashtags on the internet, such as #ZumaMustFall, and of course, people who promote capitalism, and oppose communism.

South African opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane was detained in neighbouring Zambia, recently, had his cellular phone and iPad confiscated, was beaten up, and deported, despite a no-visa agreement between South Africa and Zambia. He was in Zambia to attend the trial of the country's opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, of the Party for National Development (UPND), who was charged with treason. Amnesty International accounts of the incident giving rise to the trial and arrest, 'The six were arrested on 11 April after they allegedly failed to give way to a Presidential convoy in Mongu district. They claim they were beaten, teargassed and pepper sprayed on their genitals by the police.' (26 May 2017) It seems Zambia's reason for opposing the entry of South Africa's own opposition leader was because they thought he was there to undermine the judiciary, by attending the trial. The move in South Africa and neighbouring countries to link opposition and dissent to treason, and plotting, is far from hard to notice. It is easy to remember the threat of a treason trial against Julius Malema, ruler of the Economic Freedom Fighters, just recently. ANC leaders who have spoken out about corruption in the ANC have received death threats. Just ask ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza, who has told of how betrayed she feels by the ruling party, due to silence over death threats. This isn't new. When Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, also known as Kwezi, laid charges of rape against Jacob Zuma, the AIDS activist and hitherto family friend of the now President, faced death threats, and an innocent confused with her was targeted for stoning. Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo spent five years in exile from South Africa, after the ANC told her they could only guarantee her safety if she would recant about the rape. The late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo had a traumatic life, and died of natural causes.

What about hero of the moment, Cyril Ramaphosa, who used his position in the ANC to pursue his own business interests in Marikana, and along with other important figures in the party, purposely abused their cleverly worded BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) policies to build himself a business empire? Also, Cyril Ramaphosa, so praised for his sound business judgement, as a result of his BEE business empire, was quoted on a recent trip to Zimbabwe, as praising the Zanu-PF for their land redistribution program ... one which involved violent seizures of white owned land, saw 'War Veterans' never given title, and thus unable to get bank loans (banks are now required to take cattle as collateral), and which policies presided over the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, has also given a recent keynote address to the Black Business Council (BBC), linked by Pravin Gordhan with the Gupta brothers. In fact, Cyril Ramaphosa didn't start opposing Zuma properly until Zuma gave his support to his ex-wife, and alleged current lover, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him. Cyril keeps calling for a formal enquiry into accusations of state capture, and yet media have repeatedly told him and all who will listen that this is well within his own powers to set up.

The Citizen reports, that the President has warned the NEC not to push him too far, that he was keeping quiet for the sake of the ANC, but that if ANC members continued to criticise him in public, he would no longer keep quiet. Other media report that the President accused the ANC members who supported the motion of no confidence in the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) of being part of a western plot against him. The talk of a western plot which the ANC claim will eventually culminate in a military intervention, has been going on for a few years now.

A lot of the various monopolies on corruption openly alleged in media and by members of the ANC itself, link to benefits received by the ANC. This is the party which even in 2014 had already had Eskom suppliers replaced in the name of BEE, where Eskom claimed 'wet coal' was responsible for blackouts. This is the party linked to very many billions of Rands lost in the economy due to kindness to corruption, mismanagement, and a soft take on fraud. The opposition Democratic Alliance, once the anti-Apartheid Progressive Party, has been winning election after election on promises and deliveries of clean governance. Not much to ask, is it? Even the once dead on arrival Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), of Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has been on a winning streak of late.

They may not make many newspapers, but over the years there have been many reports of hit lists, and murders within the ANC. Houses of members are burnt down, members are shot. Internal ANC violence has been common, as with important figures being charged and convicted for everything from common assault, to rape, to murder. The President has 783 charges of corruption outstanding against him, currently. The Constitutional Court has said that he has broken his oath of office.

A militant group of armed individuals in military-style fatigues, the MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe) has been allowed to prevent access, for years, to various parts of the country, against opposition figures and the general public.

The white middle class is currently a third of the size of the black one, in South Africa. Take all their jobs and wealth away, and you still cannot supply them to the many have-nots. BEE is estimated to have cost the economy billions in competitiveness. Imagine investing in a country and having to somewhat give away half your company? Imagine having to give preferential placements instead of hiring a top team. Black South Africans, due to lack of early childhood development, and schools which bring shame to the concept of education, seriously lag behind white South Africans in their ability to graduate university degrees they start out in, and forget about doctorates, if government and other statements of fact are to be believed. Labour laws demanding equality and non-discrimination in hiring already ensured fairness in the labour market, but ask anyone on the street or in the ANC, and they will say BEE is about something else, transformation, uprooting the 'evil' white man to replace him. But, in essence, it takes the form of a tax, and at least when it comes to big companies, the beneficiaries are often ANC linked. In the job preferential treatment area, it sees an extension of the welfare state. Companies are expected to hire, irrespective of skills, ability, etc, and to pay equally. As I wrote in 2014, this has often resulted in higher costs for companies, as they have to bean count and hire extra to get the scarce skills they need. Millions of jobs have been lost, as a result of South Africa's labour regulations, explicitly noted in the notice of downgrade to junk status. Both in the form of preferential treatment over merit policies, and in the form of laws which make it much harder to fire excess labour, and thus a big gamble to hire or invest in South Africa. Twenty years of such policies have seen South Africa's competitiveness deflate. Never mind the refusal to protect various industries, from poultry, to textiles, from far more competitive foreign markets.

In fact, South Africa is current number 2 on the misery index, a combination of unemployment and inflation figures. Only Venezuela, whose citizens are starving and lack basics such as toilet paper, beats it to the number one spot.

It isn't any wonder that leaks link Jacob Zuma to attempts to gain residency in Dubai, via his Gupta ties, whether these news items are true or not.

Emails which are alleged to prove that the Guptas controlled and took over the functions of the President vis-a-vis the Cabinet and other such things, have been leaked to media, with the Sunday Times doing an expose on these. Gert van der Merwe, the lawyer for the Gupta family has stated to media that if the emails were hacked, that he would advise his clients to lay criminal charges, and that he worries his clients' privacy rights may have been affected, but would have to see the emails to know. The Guptas officially call the emails 'fake news', the term du jour, since Donald Trump popularised it.

So, I ask you, dear reader, are you really even a little bit surprised that Jacob Zuma easily defeated a motion of no confidence brought against him at the ANC NEC, by Joel Netshitenzhe, with the support of Aaron Motsoaledi, Joe Phaahla, and Derek Hanekom, but with most NEC members backing Zuma by a landslide?

As for Radical Economic Transformation, falsely called inclusive growth, but with the same definitions given, it has been tried before. Replace White Monopoly Capital with the bourgeoisie, and you have Das Kapital by Karl Marx. Replace the royals and their allies with White Monopoly Capital, and you have Leninism and the Russian revolution. Never mind Mao's cultural revolution and the many lives lost. Most recent examples include starving Venezuela, where Nicolás Maduro maintains a death grip on the country, as it pursues similar policies.

So, I ask you, again, dear reader, are you surprised, and what of that motion of no confidence in parliament, even if it replaces Zuma with Ramaphosa, will that be enough? Investors say no, according to an article by Reuters. They have lost confidence not just in Jacob Zuma, but in the ANC. As for ratings agencies, they have made it clear that a downgrade was likely to be coming anyway, and they have set out their many reasons. Their faith in Pravin Gordhan to stave off collapse of the government into bankruptcy, had caused them to hold off a little bit. But, unless the government radically alters course, even replacing Zuma, or the ANC for that matter, won't 'save South Africa'. It's more than just people and politics, it's basic economics in a globalised world.


Popular Posts - This Week

Popular Posts This Month

Popular Posts | All TIme