BOKAMOSO | State Capture Report spells the ANC’s downfall and SA’s salvation

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Wednesday will go down in South Africa’s history as the day good triumphed over bad, right over wrong, truth over secrecy; the day the ANC’s downfall became inevitable and South Africans realised: we’re going to be OK. It was the moment it became clear that constitutional democracy, with its guarantees of a free press, freedom of speech, the rule of law and an independent judiciary, will triumph over the ANC’s politics of patronage, cadre deployment and corruption.

On Wednesday, ex-Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report was released to the South African public. It confirmed what we already knew: the South African state is in the hands of a criminal syndicate who use it as their personal ATM. President Zuma and the Guptas head up a public-private partnership that has been stealing billions of rands from our national purse, money that could otherwise be spent on tackling poverty and unemployment.

Essentially, Ajay and Atul Gupta managed to gain control of President Zuma. Once they had him doing their bidding, they were able to control the appointment of cabinet ministers and top managers of state-owned enterprises and thereby influence the awarding of state and state-owned enterprise contracts.

The report’s 355 pages are replete with interview transcripts, cell phone records and other evidence of the multiple channels they have used to syphon off public funds. It gives real substance to the myriad media claims of Zuma-Gupta bribery and corruption in state and parastatal affairs over the past few years.

The report is as quietly powerful as the woman who penned it. In the face of severe time and funding constraints, she turned the situation to SA’s advantage by ordering an extensive legal investigation into her slew of evidence and suggestions. Instead of making definitive findings and ordering punitive remedial action against the alleged perpetrators, the report instructs the president to appoint a judge of the Chief Justice’s choosing to undertake a six-month commission of inquiry into the numerous allegations. This breathes time and resources into the investigation, and lodges responsibility with our most independent institution, our judiciary.

Those implicated will want to take the report on review, which will be tricky since it makes no hard findings. The only hard fact that President Zuma could really take on review is the instruction to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry. He will no doubt try to argue that it is beyond the Public Protector’s power to order him to make this appointment. But his case will be hampered by the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla ruling earlier this year which served to strengthen the authority of the Public Protector to order such action.

Certainly, the report lays bare that Jacob Zuma is not fit to be president. He must be fired, and the duty and power to do so rests with the National Assembly. The DA has tabled a motion of no confidence in Zuma, to be debated next Thursday. If this motion is supported by a simple majority of members – that is, by 201 out of 400 Members of Parliament – then the President and all cabinet and deputy ministers must resign.

As the vast majority of the 151 opposition MPs are certain to support it, the motion requires the support of at most about sixty ANC MPs in order to carry. This represents only one quarter of the ANC caucus. Let me be clear, only one in four ANC MPs needs to be willing to put the country first.

I emphasize these numbers because it is important for South Africans to understand that Jacob Zuma is not an outlier. Rather, he embodies the dominant values in the ANC. This is why Zizi Kodwa, the ANC’s official spokesperson, responded to the report yesterday, saying the ANC has full confidence in the President. This is why the ANC’s decision-making body, its National Executive Council, cannot be relied upon to fire Jacob Zuma: the majority of its members are similarly motivated by personal enrichment.

And this is why firing Jacob Zuma is only the immediate action that South Africans must take, in order to begin to start moving this country forward again. The revelations contained in the State Capture Report merely skim the surface of the corruption and patronage that infests every level and every sphere of ANC government. So firing Zuma only skims the surface of what is required to clean up this country’s political economy, so that we can start to tackle our challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Nonetheless, it is the right place to start.

Furthermore, the DA will lay criminal charges against Zuma in terms of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004. The president violated this act when he failed to call for a police investigation following Deputy Minister Mcebesi Jonas’ public revelation that the Gupta family had offered him the position of Finance Minister so that he could extend favours to them; and when he improperly influenced the awarding of contracts to family members, friends and associates.

We have already laid criminal charges against the Guptas and the president’s son, Duduzane Zuma, in connection with various corrupt activites. And we are calling for the resignation of Mining Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and will lay criminal charges against him for using his official position to facilitate the sale of Optimum Coal Mine to the Guptas.

We will also fight for the resignation of Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, for appointing Eskom and Denel boards with strong Gupta links, and for the resignation of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and the entire Eskom Board, for taking decisions that serve to enrich the Guptas at the expense of the SA public.

These public officials need to suffer the consequences of their corrupt behaviour. And South Africa will be vastly better off without these individuals at the helm. But ultimately, the ANC itself must be held accountable. Only a loss of power can flush out the looters, and the nepotism, arrogance, complacency and incompetence that infect our government. The ANC must learn that cadre deployment, corruption, and capture are fatal strategies. It is our job, as voters, to teach them this. Over the coming months and years, this report and the commission of inquiry that it spawns will drive this point home to the electorate.

The report has strengthened confidence in our political economy, and this can be seen in our exchange rate, which has rallied close to its strongest level against the dollar in over a year. It has united South Africans and infused us with hope. Although South Africans have reason to despair, they also have reason to be optimistic. In the fullness of time, this saga will prove to be a great national lesson in the central importance of our institutions as protectors of our democracy, and in the power of active citizenship to realise the South Africa of our dreams. Sometimes, when things fall apart, they fall in place.

5 YEARS LATER, WE'RE STILL WAITING FOR JUSTICE

The Farlam Commission Report was released over 2 years ago, but nothing has been done since then to provide closure on the greatest tragedy of our young democracy.


  • Derek Jones

    Great news, but watch out they will hatch plans, clever plans to obstruct justice. Get some good legal chess players to work out what they would do. They will be outrageously devious so please strategise with some clever minds and guess what is coming. This is a chess game now also. Passion is one thing but we have to box very very smart. Good luck we are with you!!!!!!!

    • Sharky912

      Yes , Great News and let justice take its course to punish the guilty .
      THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IS FAR STRONGER THAN THE PEOPLE IN POWER !

  • T vannieKaap

    The ANC’s support may be even thinner than it seems. Zuma’s main cheerleaders are the ANC Youth League, Womens League, and the MK Veterans. None of them care for policy or what is right; all of them care only for patronage, which is what they get in exchange for their support. But just who gets that patronage, who can hope for a job through cadre deployment? The top few, that is all. The committee members, the spokesmen. The rank and file, such as they are, can expect nothing. So I suspect that the loud sabre-rattling of these ANC fools comes from at most a few dozen people. I wonder what the true membership numbers are for these non-organizations?

  • tammy

    What a great speech, really encouraging. My only concern is shaun abrahams will move at a snail’s pace to prosecute and will not avail resources for a full on investigation. Removing the Jacob Zuma is just the begining, we need to remove the entire ANC come 2019.

    • VR007

      cut off the head of the snake first. the body will then perish.

  • Frank Payne

    The support of the ANC members of parliament in entrenching the actions undertaken by those enriching themselves at the expense of the populace is immoral and deplorable. It reflects very badly on South Africa as a nation and destroys credibility and any claims to provide equitable governance for all. It also reduces the world view of the country as a true democracy and instills an opinion of yet another African disaster in the making. We have all the means to be a shining example of a true international success, both economically and socially, which we have blown in the interests of greed and power. Disgraceful!

  • Donkey

    The ANC has got a constitution, and the RSA has got a constitution. Unfortunately, the twain shall never meet: as long as the president of the ANC is also the president of our beloved country, the ANC president follows the “rules” of the ANC and rules the country as he wishes, ignoring the country’s excellent CONSTITUTION (which originally in good faith with Mandela’s integrity in mind), which provides the president with total executive powers to appoint and recall ministers and others in public service, at his will. This is the weak spot in our constitution, and until this aspect is changed, we can have a dictator and crook running our so called constitutional democracy. The king in this chess game won’t be check-mated easily if ever by us the people, the opposition parties in the assembly with no confidence or impeachment debates, the courts, the respected ANC struggle seniors, heroes like Jonas, Vytjie and other concerned citizens or unions. We will have to wait after millions spent on court cases and commissions till 2019 to VOTE the ANC OUT of office AND change our constitution on the role, duty etc of the president to avoid future presidents of Zuma’s ilk. But, could we really wait TWO or THREE more years of this teflon “president of the ANC”? Take note what a defiant Zuma(apparently also a chess player) said today (Saturday 5 Nov) in Natal at an ANC Rally!! Gordhan will surely be recalled if our economy is downgraded in December, and the looting will continue till 2019 when SA will be bankrupt!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for your optimism and strength Mr Maimani, but things seem to fall apart, can the center really hold?

  • gary ferguson

    The report was exceptionally well written, it is a pity that the PP could not follow through on this but what I enjoyed is the findings from pages 343 onwards, the findings are written in such a way that they simply cannot be ignored and must be addressed at each and every level to finality they simply cannot be batted away