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


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.

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