The recently unmentionable: Joining the connecting dots
During the last three to four years South Africa witnessed a number of crucially important incidents. At the end of April 2013, a private plane carrying passengers from India to attend a private wedding celebration landed at Waterkloof Military Base near Pretoria. There was media curiosity and then security inquiry. Who owned the plane? How come it could land in a South African military base, a place reserved for high security purposes? Who is it able to re-purpose (a word that will become more and more familiar as we go on with this piece) a public space for a private grace? The Gupta family were mentioned as the owners of the private plane, the owners of the private passengers and the owners of the wedding celebration. So, who gave them permission to land at a secure military base? Foreign Affairs ministry said they knew nothing about it. The ministry in charge of things security also said they had no idea how the plan landed where it ought not to land. There was some speculation that Number One might have given the permission but nobody, least of all Number One was saying.
In late 2015, the then Deputy Finance Minister Mr. Mcebisi Jonas was offered the position of Minister of Finance along with a Ghana-must-go bag containing R600,000.00 if he would do the bidding of the Guptas. Mr. Jonas rejected both the position and the bribe money that came with it. Not only that Mr. Jonas made the Gupta offer public and his rejection of it. The questions asked got to answers. Since when have individuals outside of the government and the governing party, the ANC (the African National Congress) including the alliance partners of COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) and the SAPC (South African Communist Party), been the deciders of those deployed (that’s the word the ANC uses for putting its cadres in positions of public responsibilities) to ministerial positions? When asked Number One said he was responsible for appointing and dis-appointing people to his cabinet. That incident left the public media attention.
In March this year, at midnight President Zuma ordered the Minister of Finance Mr. Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mr. Mcebisi Jonas to return from a road show they were doing through the United Kingdom and the United States of America with immediate effect. When they landed, both of them were sacked from the cabinet on the basis of a security report that said that both men were conspiring with international finance individuals to overthrow the government of President Zuma. In their places President Zuma appointed people later labelled as two of his instruments used for the state capture accusation levelled against the President by the outgoing Public Protector.
There is need for a pause here for one piece of information.
As a result of the public outcry after Mr. Jonas made public the Gupta offer, other members of the ANC went public with similar offers for different positions in government and in the state owned enterprises. The consequent questions got the Public Protector to set up an enquiry and issue a report almost in the last day of office. This report is entitled capture of state report. The report documents the doings of the Gupta family of three brothers with their business partner, a son of President Zuma Duduzane. The report recommended that the Chief Justice, (definitely not the President) should appoint a judicial commission to further look into these allegations.
The President put the report on review. Then he said he and not the Chief Justice does the honours when it came to commissions of inquiry in the country. So, nothing has been done about that report.
Back to the unexplainable incidents. In February this year Mr. Brian Molefe left (resigned, retired, was relieved of) his position as CEO of Eskom the South African power utility. He was sworn in as a member of parliament. The rumours had it that he was being prepared for deployment as minister of finance. The outcry that followed the sacking of Mr. Gordhan and Mr. Jonas stopped that. Three of the top six people in the ANC who tie and untie things in the country went public with their disagreement with the president about the sacking of the two men. They told the country that the ANC was not consulted about the reshuffle. COSATU said it knew nothing about the reshuffle. The SAPC said they were not told about the reshuffle. The Secretary General of the ANC. Mr. Guede Mantashe said the list of the new cabinet members came from somewhere else. The deputy president lambasted the ridiculous security report on the basis of which the sacking of the minister of finance and his deputy was based.
Then, out of the blue Mr. Brian Molefe was returning to his former position as CEO OF Eskom! Why? How? Nobody knew. The minister of Public Enterprises was advised by the ANC to immediately rescind the decision. In parliament, questions as to who gave the instruction for Mr. Molefe to go back to Eskom could not be answered.
As a result of other calamities in the national crisis, there have been public protests and public demonstrations of thousands on the streets of the country. On May Day President Zuma was booed at the main workers rally of the day and prevented from speaking. Soon after COSATU banned him from ever speaking at any of their rallies. The SAPC called for him to step down. Opposition political parties demanded a vote of no confidence in the president to be done with secret ballot.
Early this month the South African Council of Churches issued their unburdening report detailing ordinary people who had been approached to use their public positions for private profit. Their report is to be subjected to their gospel values and tests of “see, judge and act.”
Almost at the end of the month a group of research professors issued their academic paper of 72 pages entitled BETRAYAL OF THE PROMISE – HOW SOUTH AFRICA IS BEING STOLEN. Illustrated with graphics, rather than graphs, it shows that the unmentionable chief patron of the Stealing of the state is no one else but President Jacob Zuma. The dots lead to him. The question now is not if he will be sacked, re-deployed for re-purposing state institutions for his own private purposes.