South Africa should join the worldwide action to isolate Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his henchmen oligarchs.
One of the top funders of the ANC in 2020 was a mining company jointly owned by a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin and the ANC front company Chancellor House.
Oligarch Victor Vekselberg owns 49% of South Africa’s 4th largest manganese miner, United Manganese of Kalahari. The rest of the mining operation has ownership that includes Chancellor House and an ANC-linked community group.
In the first quarter of 2020/21, the mine donated R7.5 million to the ANC, becoming the largest single donor during that quarter.
This suggests two things:
- That the ANC is reluctant to act against Russia because in doing so, it would be acting against its own paymaster.
- That the government should freeze Vekselberg’s assets in South Africa as a way of putting pressure on the Putin regime to withdraw from Ukraine.
The DA is usually reluctant to interfere in any private mining operation, but such is the existential threat to the rules-based international order posed by Putin’s colonial invasion of Ukraine that this amounts to exceptional circumstances.
In soft-pedalling its response to the Russian aggression, the ANC is once again showing its own paydays are far more important to it than the long term good of South Africa’s people, and the sovereignty of nations.