Opinion

  • Radical economic transformation requires more than repealing percentages of state procurement

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    The President’s pledge to repeal the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA), although commendable, doesn’t go far enough to bring about radical economic transformation, argues Mxolisi ka Nkomonde

    State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have since 1948 until 1989, been the engines of Afrikaner nationalism but most were deliberately weakened ahead of the takeover by majority rule so as to prepare them for sale to British and verligte Afrikaner elite and a small Black buffer class under the banner of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).

    However the large SOEs such as Eskom, Transnet and SAA remain as public entities but they have not been able to facilitate the economic upliftment of the Black majority due to weak policies adopted by the ANC.

    President Jacob Zuma made a pledge to repeal the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) because it is one of the obstacles in changing the ownership and control of South Africa’s economy which largely remains colonial. The President’s call is commendable but it’s only the beginning; the 30% of contracts above R30million  that will be set aside for small to medium-sized businesses owned by women, youth, Blacks and people with disabilities can only work in the short run.

    The problem in South Africa stems from the cartels in mining, banking, agriculture and manufacturing which are currently controlled by large Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed firms which are 99.4% controlled by white minority.

    These cartels control value chains in the South African economy. The proposition to merely change the percentage of contracts targeting Black business at state procurement level is not sufficient to bring about the required “radical economic transformation”. The state will have to take greater steps in restructuring the economy using other instruments since 25% of Gross Domestic Product is in the hands of the state while 75% is controlled by the cartels which feed into the state procurement system.

    State entities such as Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Land Bank, Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and National Empowerment Fund (NEF) are currently entrenching the colonialstructure of the economy largely controlled by the cartels as the requirements to access finance, technological advancements and other economic tools favour established businesses which are owned and controlled by the white minority. The community and economic development clusters of the government need cohesive and cogent policy to arrest this problem such as strengthening Local Economic Development Agencies at municipal level instead of the “trickle down” neoliberal strategy which has dismally failed over the last 20yrs.

    The problem with the “trickle down” neoliberal strategy is that white controlled cartels are replaced with Black controlled cartels but solely at state procurement level which doesn’t help with dismantling the colonial structure of the economy. The President is willing to change the economic structure but society needs to interrogate the different structures of government to make it a sustainable and prosperous reality for Black majority.

  • The Battle for the Rogue Unit Story

    By Pinky Khoabane

    It’s an all out war in the battle to claim the truth about the Rogue Unit story. Developments reached fever pitch last night when an alleged conversation between Alec Hogg and a Democratic Alliance (DA) activist Karin Morrow surfaced on Twitter. In it, the two are planning a campaign to attack former Sunday Times journalist, Piet Rampedi, in the media including having his Twitter account suspended.

    Conspiracy to attack Piet Rampedi?

    piet-rampedi

    Morrow was quick to plead the victim of a violation of privacy. But instead of disputing the contents of the alleged conversation she was simply outraged that her DM (direct messages or private conversations) had been hacked and exposed to the public. “Im sure that’s not legal,” she protested. But hey, how about the conversation you are accused of having made? In the conversation, she asks Hogg to galvanise media friends to attack Rampedi and have his Twitter account suspended.

    karin-morrow

    CSI Twitter goes ablaze

    And in the process, CSI Twitter came out blazing. We were referred to the use of the English language in the “fake” conversation and that it didn’t match that of Hogg’s. Some refuted claims that you needed to follow each other to access DM. Then there was the issue of this conversation having been taken from an Android and was therefore legitimate. Our contributor Mxolisi Ka Nkomonde says he thinks the conversation was leaked by one of the people in the conversation as this was seemingly a group conversation or “one of them uses multiple phones which are logged in”. That is all Greek to me but by 18:00 last night, Rampedi’s account was frozen.

    So in effect, the allegedly fake conversation became a reality. What Hogg disputed had been discussed actually took place. He’s said to have galvanised his Twitter followers and so seeing the number of complaints, Twitter acted and froze Rampedi’s account.

    pietvalechogg

    Last night’s developments follow a string of tweets, more than 80 of them, made by Rampedi on Saturday, in which he accused a cabal of racist white journalists who were out to discredit him. He also accused former SARS employee, Johann van Loggerenberg of orchestrating the campaign.

    It’s now becoming clear that on the main, the players in the Rogue Unit are on one side, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and former SARS employees involved in the allegations, and on the other are Rampedi and Commissioner of SARS Tom Moyane. South Africa being what it is, the battle is now drawn on racial lines.

    With Gordhan’s camp is a group of white media, the cabal of former Treasury employees including former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and white South Africans in the DA camp. Rampedi and Moyane have now amassed support from black people who feel they are victims of a campaign to cover-up the Rogue Unit saga.

    Even retired judges have entered the fray. Judge Frank Kroon, in an investigation he conducted on the SARS unit, found it illegal and unlawful. Former Constitutional Court Judge Zak Yacoob confirmed in media reports that he had advised Gordhan on the unit and had advised that the unit was not unlawful.

    Now, Im not a lawyer but I once asked one of the Concourt judges for legal advise and he declined on the basis that they were not allowed to give legal advice as this went against their oath. He explained that it was due to the fact that legal matters could end up at the ConCourt and they would be compromised. So, on what grounds did Yacoob advise Gordhan?

    But in the propaganda war is the use of that famous family, Gupta. Rampedi is now called a Gupta. Until the Sunday Times retracted from some aspects of the Rogue Unit, two years or so after publishing, Rampedi was hailed for quality investigative journalism. He has also been scathing of the Guptas and you may wonder what the Guptas have to do with the SARS Wars.

    It has become customary in South Africa today to use scare mongering and labels to silence voices with which we do not agree. The Guptas have become the standard response when an argument falls flat.

    The extent of the propaganda machinery being waged in this case simply begs the question: Why is this case not allowed to go through due process and the legality or not of this unit determined by a court of law? Something has begun to smell too fishy!

  • What’s the endgame for Thuli in State Capture Probe

    PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 14: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela announcing her findings on scandalous lease dealings at the National Press Club on July 14, 2011 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Liza van Deventer)
    By Pinky Khoabane

    Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is rushing to ensure she finalises the report into the now famous state capture by the Guptas. Recent media reports say such is the pressure on her to present this report before she vacates her office in mid October that leader of the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane is said to have written her a letter recently, asking for an update.

    It was Maimane who also updated the media on the public protector’s response. She will present the findings before she leaves office.

    The public protector’s office had pleaded poverty at the time the DA laid a complaint about the Gupta family’s alleged undue influence on the state and much to the surprise of many, Treasury advanced her the money for this particular case.

    The intervention by Treasury is interesting if not simply curious.

    It’s no surprise though given that it is here that the rumours of the Gupta state capture emanated; it was after all the deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas who said the Guptas had offered him a job as finance minister, which had a domino effect that led to a few others who claimed the family had offered them jobs or bullied them during their time as public servants.

    The response by Jonas at the time was also curious. His statement, after days of dodging the media, came through Treasury’s letterhead. One would have thought this was a personal matter between him, the Guptas and the ANC.

    Jonas doesn’t have too clean a record either but hey, when you say anything implicating the Guptas, you literally don’t have to provide proof and your checkered past of corruption doesnt really matter. And for the record, he has not given any evidence maybe he will tell Thuli what happened. But he hasn’t really been asked to provide the proof by those who carried his story as fact. http://blackopinion.co.za/2016/04/10/dear-mcebisi-jonas-an-open-letter-to-your-statement-but-i-refused/

    Treasury’s recent attacks on State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) at which Oakbay has tenders is an indication of how personal some at Treasury are taking the matter.

    It’s not as if the state capture case is the only one for which the public protector didn’t have resources. There are many cases which she has decided not to investigate because she had no resources. Then there are those like the R3.2billion lifeboat to ABSA which Heath Commission found to be illegal, on which she has not pronounced despite it being five years since she started the case.

    The question is why the state capture case which is seemingly going to focus purely on the alleged Gupta influence cannot wait for the next public protector like all the other cases Madonsela hasn’t been able to investigate during her tenure?

    Since I expanded the state capture debate in February when I exposed Rupert’s intervention in the lastest appointment of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, it has now become clear that state capture has been in existence since Jan Van Riebeck entered our shores and brutally raped our mothers, sisters and our land. It’s a historical fact that the broedebond captured the Nationalist Party and the state to further Afrikaaner nationalism and to unduly influence the state for its own interests.

    We have on this platform shown that the British American Tobacco (BAT) in which Johann Rupert has a stake, has captured the state security cluster. We have shown how Rupert has captured Treasury and the media.

    So why is there this narrow focus on Gupta’s as sole capturers of the state?

    There has been this manufactured tale about this family appointing cabinet ministers, influencing tenders, and so forth. And yet there has been no stitch of evidence to prove the allegations. To date, with the exception of this complaint by DA, there has been no other. The ANC’s probe into state capture elicited one written response by Themba Maseko and frankly, kudos to him for putting forth “evidence” for his claims.

    So in effect, this probe if done fairly and above board, would be great for the country as the Guptas would finally have to answer.

    So who’s the public protector going to be interviewing in the short space of time before she leaves? I put this question to her and at the time of filing this article, there was no response from her office. Media reports say its cabinet ministers and obviously the people who had already made the allegations.

    I asked the Public Protector if the Guptas and Oakbay would be interviewed. Surely, a court, unless it is a kangaroo court, allows the accused the right of reply. It is a basic tenet of finding truth. The Guptas say they haven’t been invited and you then have to ask about the agenda of the investigation. Is it to rubber-stamp the agenda of the neo-liberal media now known as Ruptists, together with their handlers that the Guptas have captured the state? Let’s at this point deal with the fact that Bidvest gets more tenders from government than most organisations and are they part of the probe or even concern? Of course not?

    Was it Gordhan’s concern in his previous tenure as finance minister that companies like Exarro, Anglo, South 32 and Glencore had 40 year contracts at double the price of the 15 black coal mining companies that Eskom introduced last year? It’s never been. He only raised his head when Oakbay got the 5% or so coal tender.

    There are already allegations on social media that the DA has promised Madonsela the position of premier of Gauteng in 2019.

    I put this to her office and this too was not answered by the time I filed this report.

    Madonsela has a lot at stake regarding her reputation. Already she was the recipient of a R150 000 cash bonus for winning the Person of the Year Award at ANN7’s SATY Awards. ANN7 is owned by the Guptas.

    If these allegations of a DA promise of a position within its party are true, and we only have to wait until 2019, her actions would constitute the corrupt practice known in the US as “swing door”. It is unlawful for a public official to accept payment or employment from a contractor or organisation with whom they had been doing business on behalf of the state. It could be construed as a reward for favours.

     

  • Politics of Possession Football And The “No” Camp

    Pep Guardiola used Leo Messi as a False 9 to beef-up the midfield and destroy the opposition. In South Africa, white capitalists are using a few blacks as their False 9’s to preserve white privilege argues The Maytrix

    Something changed in 2009. Pep Guardiola won every trophy available in his first season at top flight football management. He not only dominated the match outcomes but he also dominated the matches through possession football while adding new ways of thinking about modern day football. One of the biggest weapons in Guardiola’s tactics was the use of Leo Messi as the ground-breaking false 9. A false 9 is an attacker who is positioned between the midfield and the centre forward roles. He is not just a striker who scores goals, but his positioning allows his team to add more numbers in the midfield when the team has possession. To put it simply, a false 9 gives a team 2 players in one. And when that player is the best in the world, a team that plays possession football is well-geared to controlling not only the result, but most importantly, the flow of the match.

    South African politics has it’s own parallels of possession football and false 9s. And something did change in 2009. A new president was inaugurated and ushered in a new era of socioeconomic politics. If you asked a consumer of mainstream media in the country, they would be hard-pressed to figure out how Nkandla and the Guptas qualify as part of an era of socioeconomic politicking. In their minds, this man has destroyed the glorious movement that is the ANC and dwindling voter support is testament to their views on the impact of Zuma on the country.

    Analysis of who owns what in South Africa gives one a good idea of who controls the flow of information, and by extension, the outcome of polls. Bear in mind that elections are nothing but a set of aggregate polls on who should govern. So whoever has possession of the communication platforms has the power to call the meeting, write the agenda, take minutes and declare them read and adopted.

    One of the most prominent black companies with media interests in South Africa, Kagiso Trust, is controlled by Johann Rupert. Yes, a black company controlled by a nonblack businessman. This is a form of false empowerment. Rupert has the luxury of being the captain of industry while still controlling the new entrants of the likes of Zanele Mbeki, wife of former president Thabo Mbeki, and Frank Chikane, through Kagiso Trust. It is as though Rupert is empowering himself under the guise of empowering blacks.

    This takes our analogy of the false 9 to new horizons altogether. Think of Messi playing as a false opponent, effectively, against himself. He decides who wins and there’s therefore no way he cannot win. Basically, how can anybody else be empowered under such circumstances?

    Companies like Kagiso Trust can present themselves as black owned businesses while taking direction from white business. It just so happens that Kagiso Trust was also a beneficiary of the BEE transaction involving Rupert’s First Rand along with Zanele Mbeki’s WDB Trust at the climax of empowerment deals under Thabo Mbeki. Recently when Kagiso Trust merged with Tiso Group, Nedbank, under chairman Ruel Khoza, was the sole investment bank involved in the transaction. Nedbank is owned by Old Mutual whose chair, Trevor Manuel, is another one of those using the economics of debt to retain the current status quo. Nedbank’s BEE deal involved WIPHOLD, led by Gloria Serobe and Wendy Luhabe. The Standard Bank BEE deal involved Saki Macozoma’s Safika Holdings. Of the big 4 banks, ABSA (Tokyo Sexwale) appears to be the only bank whose BEE deal done during Thabo Mbeki presidency was not led by a business person closeto the former president. So Mbeki’s presidency not only saw a two-thirds majority for the ANC but he also over-saw a two-thirds majority of the BEE deals in the banking sector.

    That is immense in light of our false 9 analogy. Here we have a player in the proverbial middle of the playing field, giving the false impression of being in possession of the ball and in the game to strike against a system that is structurally biased against the African child.

    The South African Reserve Bank is empowered by the Banks Act (No. 94 of 1990) to issue banking licenses and monitor those to whom licenses are issued. So Treasury has the power to decide whether or not competition for the big 4 banks in South Africa is increased since the bank reports into Treasury. That is to put it loosely, because the bank is somewhat privately-owned. Nonetheless, Treasury has policy authority over the bank, thus enabling it to practically dictate how the bank operates. Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s relaxation of exchange controls for instance, affects the amount of money that banks could transact out of the country. This has a direct bearing on profits that the banks stand to make. So Treasury is very important to the banking sector. By implication, Treasury becomes very important to the BEE beneficiaries of the Mbeki era. What happens when Zuma decides to rock the boat and make changes at Treasury to restructure budgets so as to drive economic empowerment of black South Africans? Can we not expect the false 9s to come out in defense of the sector? Guardiola used the false to add numbers to the midfield so as to retain possession of the ball. In the South African context, a Guardiola uses the false 9s to shore up the buffer (middle) to thwart any potential attacks against the system. The system has unexpected team-mates. It is the camp that is saying “No” to changes in Treasury. And because they have possession of the ball, they decide where, when and how fast it goes.

  • Pay back the R3.2 Billion RUPSA!!

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    Pinky Khoabane

    One of our readers, Sean Goss, has sent us this graphic in response to the money stolen by Bankorp, Johann Rupert’s Rembrant and Sanlam, in the years leading up-to the new democratic dispensation. ABSA later bought Bankorp.

    The money was given to these entities as “lifeboats” by the Reserve Bank. They were later found to be illegal and unlawful by Judge Willem Heath and other investigators. A financial commentator once called it the biggest fraud to ever be perpetrated on a South African taxpayer”. Others have called the lifeboat scandal “apartheid’s grand corruption”.

    Sean has been kind because the figure between these three entities amounts to approximately  R9.2bn according to the Ciex report. The R3.2bn is Bankorp’s “gift” while the other two companies’ “gifts” were between R3 and 6bn. The other banks which got these lifeboats include Nedbank.

    We attach the Ciex report for your perusal. While the white establishment was flying former President Nelson Mandela around in helicopters, dining him at their mansions and negotiating a “peaceful” settlement, they were also looting the state. Its estimated that R600bn may have been plundered during that time alone.

    Former finance minister Trevor Manuel used to be very vocal about the need for these lifeboats to be repaid. He has since become very silent and it’s not too difficult to see why. His wife worked for Treasury before becoming ABSA’s CEO. She is currently CEO of Barclays Africa Group and sits on the board of Rupert’s Richmont SA. She has also served on the boards of Rupert’s Remgro Ltd and Sanlam. Their wedding was hosted by Rupert on one of his lavish vineyards. Manuel now works for the Rothchild banking dynasty. In financial terms this is a three-way marriage made in banking heaven. It also shows the extent to which Treasury has been captured by white capitalists. Instead of Manuel pushing for the repayment of this money, he and his wife have gone into bed with the white capitalists.

    ciex

     

     

  • What DA couldn’t achieve last week, it may have this week: JIBA

     

    jiba

    Seconds after posting Mxolisi ka Mkomonde’s piece on the question of whether a network comprising opposition parties, civil society and the liberal media were destabilising South Africa, news broke that Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and colleague, Lawrence Mrwebi had been struck off the roll of advocates.

    See http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/opposition-parties-civil-society-liberal-media-plotting-destabilising-critical-state-institutions/

     

     

    This comes a week after the High Court in Capetown denied the Democratic Party (DA) the bid to appeal an earlier judgement refusing to order Jiba’s suspension.

    The DA had gone to court accusing President Jacob Zuma of having taken no action against Jiba in the face of judicial criticisms. It said the president should have lodged an investigation and she should have been suspended during that period.

    The High Court dismissed the case on the basis that the president had been rational in waiting for the outcome of the high court case against Jiba which was lodged by the advocates group, General Council of the Bar.

    The decision to remove her from the roll renders her unfit to hold office as the NPA Act stipulates that a deputy national director of prosecutions should be a fit person.

    In effect, what the DA failed to achieve last week it could have this week, unless Jiba appeals and hopefully she will go right up to the Constitutional Court.

  • Are opposition parties, civil society and the liberal media plotting to destabilise critical state institutions?

    NelsonMandela

    Is South Africa being deliberately destabilised through litigation, media propaganda and consistent efforts to make parliament dysfunctional asks Mxolisi ka Nkomonde.

    Speaking at the ANC’s 50th National Conference in Mafikeng in December 1997, former President Nelson Mandela made the following observations about opposition parties, the media and civil society: “The counter-revolution has also sought to regroup to create the possibility for itself to act decisively to compromise the democratic system at whatever moment it considered opportune. Accordingly, various elements of the former ruling group have been working to establish a network which would launch or intensify a campaign of destabilisation…..

    “This counter-revolutionary network, which is already active and bases itself on those in the public administration and others in other sectors of our society who have not accepted the reality of majority rule, is capable of carrying out very disruptive actions. It measures its own success by the extent to which it manages to weaken the democratic order.”

    He went on to applaud the work of some non-governmental agencies (NGOs) but warned against those with underhanded agendas.   “We must also draw attention to the fact that many of our non-governmental organisations are not in fact NGOs, both because they have no popular base and the actuality that they rely on the domestic and foreign governments, rather than the people, for material sustenance.”

    Nelson Mandela further quoted an extract from the US Government titled “A review of the U.S Aid Program in South Africa” dated 5 November 1996 which had this to say:

    “USAID’s program is not so much support for the Mandela government as support for AID’s undisclosed political activities within the South African domestic political arena involving the most difficult, controversial issues in South Africa. By funding advocacy groups to monitor and lobby for changes in government policies and even setting up trust funds to pay for legal challenges in court against the new government’s action or inaction, USAID is in some respects making President Mandela’s task more difficult.”

    Here are a few of the actions taken by opposition parties, media and civil society which reflect the observations Nelson Mandela made 19 years ago.

     

    Jiba versus Democratic Alliance (DA)

    The DA took to the courts to have Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba dismissed as she is “unfit” to hold the office of Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions despite the case being dismissed by the Western Cape High Court on 23rd May 2016.

     

    Suzman Foundation v Ntlemeza

    General Berning Ntlemeza has been a target for litigation by the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law. They lodged a court application seeking an interdict for Ntlemeza to be exempt from exercising any power or discharging any function or duty as head of the Hawks. The case was dismissed by the Pretoria High Court on 19th April 2016.

    EFF, DA and Corruption Watch v Jacob Zuma

    The EFF, which was later joined by the DA and Corruption Watch took President Jacob Zuma to the Constitutional Court for failing to implement the remedial action issued by the Public Protector in the Nkandla matter. The court found the president had failed to uphold the Constitution and issued an order to remedy this inconsistency on 31st march 2016. However, the opposition parties led by the DA tried to use this judgement as a tool to remove the president from office under the guise of constitutionalism yet no such order or even such insinuation was given by the court.

     DA and Mail & Guardian v Busisiwe Mkhwebane

    Parliament recently voted for Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane as the next public protector but the DA saw it fit to cast aspersions about this well experienced and qualified public servant citing that she is a spy. Not long after the DA issued this outrageous and unsubstantiated statement, the Soros funded Mail & Guardian saw it it fit to publish a story about this unfounded allegation.

    Democratic Alliance v Dudu Miyeni

    The DA has launched a court application to challenge the appointment of Dudu Miyeni as chairperson of SAA because, in their view, she is unfit to be in that position. The EFF has supported this court action citing rampant looting and other allegations which have not been supported by evidence. Even Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan pleaded for those who make the allegations to bring the evidence forward. Treasury recently reported that SAA’s loss was R4.7 billion in 2014/15 and it was reduced to R1.8bn this year so statements of “rampant looting” are not substantiated by the figures.

    Based on the observations by Mandela and current actions by opposition parties, civil society and the media we have to ask if our country is deliberately being destabilised through litigation, media propaganda and consistent efforts to make parliament dysfunctional.

    We have just witnessed a silent coup in Brazil where litigation was used to remove a democratically elected president and other members of the executive. These actions currently unfolding in South Africa cannot be taken lightly as Brazil and South Africa are part of a new economic bloc which challenges the current dominant system of neo-colonialism sometimes called neoliberalism.

  • Who between the African and the land thief is “illegal” & a “grabber”?

    Newspaper headlines often scream “illegal miners” and “land grabbers” and last week was no different with the events surrounding the trapped miners at Langlaate. Given the history of colonialism and the brutality with which colonialists stole African land and mines, Mxolisi Ka Nkomonde asks: who exactly are the illegal miners and land grabbers?

    Colonialism in South Africa took an extremely violent turn after the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886 where ancient mines that Africans had been exploiting for centuries came into the hands of British settlers. This natural wealth led to a mass migration of criminals of German Jewish origin with British connections, later dubbed Randlords who include Beit, Oppenheimer, Barnato and Menell.

    These criminals had mercenaries such as Jameson who used violence to get their hands on the gold deposits for their funders, later called “investors” with the Rothchild banking dynasty based in London being the major funder.

    After the indigenous African population and the Dutch settlers were killed en masse and others sent to concentration camps for the gold in the so called Anglo Boer war, the criminal syndicate had a problem of labour. The British settlers were unskilled to work on the mines.

    The British together with their Dutch puppets who included the likes of Louis Botha and Jan Smuts decided that the African population must be removed from ancestral lands in order to induce poverty and force the Africans to work in the mines and the farms which had already been stolen over the last 200yrs. This culminated in the Land Act of 1913.

    In the past week there were cases of “land grabs” and “illegal” mining around Johannesburg where Africans have no land for settlement and lack the means to make a living and are therefore forced to engage in these activities.

    What bothers me is that Africans in Africa are called “land grabbers” and Africans who are forced to go into dangerous mines are called “illegal miners” while the real land grabbers and illegal miners are called residents, investors, entrepreneurs and industrialists.

    The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation recently delivered a report called the National Income Dynamics Study which indicates that only 15% of the South African population can be regarded as middle class and middle class according to this study, is a monthly expenditure of between R2920 and R10 678 per capita. This means more than half of the South African population can barely put food on the table. These miners and land occupants are just a symptom of a larger problem which goes back decades and rooted in the criminality of colonialism.

    The post 1994 government has failed to address the real problems of colonialism and apartheid but decided to create new faces for colonial plundering in the name of Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment while everything colonial remains intact for the Black majority. Landlessness is rife and is accompanied by the evil twins of unemployment and poverty. The Black Condition will not be changed by the current neoliberal project which has actually worsened the lives of millions since 1996.

  • Time to Bank Black

    Pinky Khoabane

    In a country where every industry is owned by whites, VBS Mutual Bank, which gave President Jacob Zuma the loan to pay for the non-security features on Nkandla, offers Black South Africans the opportunity to BANK BLACK.

    Ruperts et al

    It is black-owned and it is the answer to breaking the monopoly stranglehold of the four big banks; ABSA, NEDBANK, Standard Bank and First National Bank.

    Banking BLACK means the money circulates among Blacks and builds wealth for Blacks, for a change.

    In a country where the liberal media and self-hating Blacks associate Black with corruption, daggers are already out for this bank. At issue for now, is the Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC) stake in VBS. What these liberals conveniently forget is that PIC invests in all the banks through the Treasury. This bank can expect vicious attacks from the South African media  hence it’s important for Blacks to give this financial institution support by banking with it.

    There’s a movement in the US encouraging African Americans to put their money in black-owned banks following the numerous high profile police killings in that country. The Black Dollar Matters follows the theme of Blacks Lives Matter.

    And the financial institutions in the US say they’ve seen a surge in deposits.

    VBS Bank could the saviour we’ve been waiting for.

  • Why Helen Suzman Foundation is protecting Pravin

    If you’ve wondered about the link between the Helen Suzman Foundation and why it would undermine the Hawks and protect Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Mxolisi ka Nkomonde explains.

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    The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) sent an ultimatum to the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for these state institutions to notify it by noon on 5th September 2016 that “Minister Pravin Gordhan will not be arrested in relation to any of the alleged charges”. The Foundation has also said it would be consulting its lawyers to see what action it could take if the finance minister were to be arrested.

    What is questionable about this ultimatum is that this foundation claims to be “promoting liberal constitutional democracy” and yet it never sent an ultimatum to auditing firm KPMG, Judge Frank Kroon and Advocate Musi Sikhakhane – who drafted initial reports on the South African Receiver of Revenue’s (SARS) secret intelligence unit which is now known as the “Rogue Unit” before the case was handed over to the Hawks by SARS – requesting a retraction or immediate release of some of the reports drafted since the matter was of public interest.

    The Sikhakhane report was set up following media reports that SARS operated an intelligence unit. Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene then appointed the SARS Advisory Board, headed by Kroon, to advise the minister and SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane on the allegations of the Rogue Unit. All three entities – Sikhakhane, Kroon and KPMG – found the establishment of the unit to be unlawful. Former SARS officials implicated in the establishment of the unit have always refuted the allegations and questioned the reports on the basis among others, that they had not been given the right to give their side of the story.

    The most interesting part about the Helen Suzman Foundation is its donors and corporate members which secure hundreds of billions of business from Treasury which is currently led by Gordhan.

    One of the corporate members of the Foundation is NM Rothschild & Son which has Trevor Manuel as Deputy Chairman of the South African operation. Coincidentally he happens to be a former head at Treasury from 1996 to 2009.

    Some of other donors of the Helen Suzman Foundation also have an interesting history with South Africa going back to colonialism and the apartheid era. They are as follows:

    • E Oppenheimer & Son – Founder of hostels and labour concentration camps later dubbed “townships” and “locations”
    • ABSA – Implicated in the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) “lifeboats” corruption in the last years of apartheid and current. Its CEO is Maria Ramos who is a former Director General at Treasury and married to Trevor Manuel, the former Minister of Finance
    • Lord Renwick – Former Ambassador to South Africa from United Kingdom with business interests in South Africa which include large firms such as Remgro (Rupert) and South African Breweries
    • Investec – Does billions in business with Treasury and Gordhan’s daughter Anisha, is currently employed there in a senior executive position

    What is puzzling about this foundation is its strong links to two former ministers who headed Treasury and its involvement in the ongoing SARS “Rogue Unit” saga. There are many questions that can be raised about Helen Suzman Foundation, its donors and corporate members which may include:

    • Is HSF protecting a patronage network rooted in colonialism and apartheid?
    • Is HSF undermining state institutions by sending an ultimatum to protect an individual?
    • Does HSF believe in our justice system which prides itself with the constitutional mandate of working without fear, favour or prejudice?
    • Have the donors and corporate members of HSF captured Treasury?

    Helen Suzman was an anti-apartheid activist but being anti-apartheid doesn’t equate to being a driver for African liberation. As Oliver Tambo said: “Suzman and lesser agents of colonialism have turned Africa into a veritable hunting ground for stooges and indigenous agents of racism.”

    Tokyo Sexwale said: “The real root causes of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequity are located squarely on land hunger and the economy which still largely remains in the hands of a tiny minority within the White minority. Therefore liberating South Africa from country capture was only the beginning.”

    To paraphrase Tambo and Sexwale is to ask if Gordhan is an indigenous agent for economic apartheid and whether HSF is defending the interests of its donors and corporate members whocaptured South Africa through colonialism to apartheid and up to this day.

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