FeatureOpinionState Capture

Failed attempt to conceal proxy war in battle for coal and Eskom’s billions


The Maytrix argues that the concerted campaign including state capture investigation have but failed to conceal the proxy war between Rupert and Oppenheimer families on one hand, and the Guptas on the other over the billions to be made from supplying  Eskom with coal. 

The truth has stamina. It always prevails in the long run. But that’s the problem. Not many observe even long enough to see events through. We read a sensational piece of news, get excited or outraged then quickly move on to the next. This works in favour of propagandists. They can afford to contradict themselves in the long run because they know that most observers are only interested in snippets.

A lie told 3 months ago can be refuted by the very liar today, without consequences. When the so-called state capture report was released, a friend sent me what he termed the real state capture report. It was a link to a Facebook page by Khaya Sithole, a chartered accountant who has been lecturing at Wits University. https://www.facebook.com/khaya.sithole/posts/10154656211142103

The report by Thuli Madonsela reads like a compilation of media articles. To be fair, she does reference these articles over and above the copy-and-paste job done on them. State capture was presented, at least in the same media that Madonsela referenced, as an issue around the appointment of ministers by people who aren’t constitutionally empowered to do so. Deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas, using Treasury platform, told the nation that he had been offered the job of finance minister by members of the Gupta family.

Former chairperson of the public enterprises portfolio committee, Vytjie Mentor followed this up and told us all how she was offered the job of public enterprise minister in return for favours related to the state airline, SAA.

Revelations by both Jonas and Mentor sparked outrage, leading to calls for an investigation into state capture.

First red herring:

Considering that Jonas and Mentor claims led to the investigation, the report rather spends an inordinate amount of effort on Eskom. One would have thought that SAA and Treasury would form the bulk of work. Sithole in his piece, offers elaborate explanations for why Eskom became the actual target instead of a comprehensive probe into state capture.

Apparently some, including Ivan Glasenberg, head of Glencore, had been aggrieved by former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe’s refusal to concede to their extortionist demands and threats of taking the country back to the days of load-shedding. Sowetan had previously claimed that Glasenberg’s had been using Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa  as a front for empowerment credentials through the company, Pembani. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2016/02/20/cyril-accused-of-fronting

Coincidentally, Johann Rupert has interests in Pembani http://pembani-remgro.com/about-us/history/.

So you have Glasenberg and Rupert seemingly aggrieved by competitors, the Guptas, who snatched the Optimum Coal deal from under their noses and are boldly taking them on in terms of business. There is a possibility of them having felt that their hegemony was under threat.

Second red herring:

It is worth remembering that Anglo-American had also threatened Eskom with continued load-shedding if Eskom didn’t waive their requirements for coal suppliers to be black-owned. This now leads us to the next red herring. UncensoredOpinion previously revealed the story of the Oppenheimers trying to force Home Affairs and Denel to relax their port of entry requirements for their VVIP terminal at OR Tambo http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/oppenheimers-bully-denel-to-secure-new-port-of-entry-into-sa/ Within weeks after the state capture report was released, Rupert-owned media (media with historical Oppenheimer links through the SAAN Group) reported complaints by the Oppenheimers regarding the Gupta’s attempts to participate in the terminal.

It is worth noting that the Oppenheimers have been selling off their mining assets bar their coal businesses. Anglo is a key supplier of coal to Eskom. Madonsela’s report focuses a lot more on Eskom than any other institution. By this time a Tweep by the handle @Mr_Basabose correctly captured the state capture narrative as nothing but proxy wars playing themselves out through use of state institutions.

What it all boils down to is a situation where the Rupert and Oppenheimer families feel that the Guptas are being a little too ambitious for non-white business people and have decided to mobilize their resources to stifle the Guptas. Even the term state capture itself came out as some form of a gospel which needn’t be questioned. Nobody asked from whom the state was being captured.

The Gupta bank accounts were closed by the big four banks in a manner so orchestrated that Mozart would have been very jealous. How do you get all 4 banks to speak in symphony over confidential accounts? It is no wonder that President Jacob Zuma is now hinting at pursuing an inquiry into the conduct of the banks. But such an inquiry will not escape the current toxic narrative that has already presented the president as a captured man whose actions are motivated by an obligation to protect the Guptas by any means necessary.

And so, instead of a legitimate inquiry into the conduct of the banks – which will no doubt influence investor confidence – much newspaper column space will be dedicated to the Gupta/Zuma relationship.  As the the President correctly stated that it is problematic for investors to know of a country where big banks can all act in concert to close bank accounts of businesses without giving satisfactory explanations. What is playing itself is the simple verdict that parts of the state have been captured along with key financial institutions, just not by those you think are the capturers.

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  1. The fact why Cyril Ramaphosa is the darling of the White Monopoly Capital (WMC). What is worrying is this rot by Cyril Inc. is a biggest barrier towards true & complete Economic Freedom. Even we find it strange how Cyril “The War Lord of Marikanna” Ramaphosa get away with being criminally charged for fronting.

    Kodwa alikho iqili lazikhotha emhlane.

  2. Brilliant article as it is substantiated by facts. Its plain lawlessness that banks are allowed to do as they please.The biggest problem we have in South Africa,is to get the facts to the ordinary South African.It horrible that the media in South Africa was allowed to smear the president like this. BEEE and people who fronted are now playing out at the cost of South Africa and South Africans.What the Public Protector did to SA,is unforgivable. What is mind boggling,is that government does not hold them.accountable.

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