The starting point is that the African National Congress (ANC) is rotten to the core. It has not just recently become rotten, but has been on that path for a long time. Therefore, the tower of corruption grows and there is no end to the escalation of lawlessness nor to the corrupt deals that continue to rob the poor majority of South Africa. Who are the benefactors of the new democracy? It is the ANC elite, who include some very powerful Indian business people as well as a few whites who trail behind to do the bidding of the ANC.
Corruption, greed, and power have robbed the very people who placed the ANC in power. The amount of money that has crossed hands in corrupt deals could have by now built a democracy and uplifted the people who needed it most. The dishing out of shares and equity to ANC leaders by corporations did not do much for the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) program; instead, businesses use the BEE beneficiaries to influence the government’s economic plans. Corporations have easy access to tenders while at the same time they exploit the poor South African people.
If Cyril Ramaphosa was a transformational leader and had but a handful of co-leaders who shared the values of good government, he might be able to make an impact on the corrupt culture that is throttling the ANC and government. However, it is quite disconcerting that so far, Ramaphosa has not changed the presidential attitude towards Nkandla, Hlaudi, South Africa Airways and Passenger Railway Agencies of South Africa (PRASA). Moreover, people are aware just who has been using PRASA as a private cash cow. On the other hand, Ramaphosa is a perfect example of what greed can do to a man’s reputation and integrity. He is a capable politician who loiters in the shadow of Zuma.
Political expectations and personal ambitions are the driving force of ANC decisions. People who are members of the ANC or affiliated to the party are in it for a quick buck, thereby creating a continuous, growing disconnect between ANC government decisions and the needs of the poor. President Zuma is a real embarrassment, bringing the ANC party to its knees. Forsaking integrity and honor and hiding from embarrassment, nobody will dare challenge the president, as there is too much money at stake. This is the price of greed.
Has South Africa gotten to the point where everyone recognizes a need to change certain systems, much like the apartheid regime changed to democracy? It would appear there is the need to change from total kleptocracy by the politically connected to avert real poverty. It is not about racial hatred; it is about the super rich versus those with nothing, and the easy profiteering by the wealthy who manipulate politicians and businesses.
South Africa remains controlled by corruption and the process of escaping the wrath of the law. Identifying the problems is the easy part, and finding the meaning of the confusion starts the blame game: Blame apartheid, Mandela, Mbeki, Zuma, and Ramaphosa; blame the whites and capitalism.
The ANC has lost its place in society. It is no longer the party that can unite South Africa and create a prosperous future for all citizens. The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, said the Gupta family are above the president and are the ruling party of South Africa. The Guptas were not part of the ANC struggle to crush apartheid and are perceived as opportunistic parasites, preying on the greedy leadership. It might be said that anything is possible with the current ANC leadership.
In a recent press release, Malema said the newly-appointed minister of mineral resources, Msebenzi Zwane, is the same person who gave the Gupta family the R570 million dairy project in the Free State – a deal that was found to be irregularly awarded through improper procedures. The deal was awarded to the Guptas after Zwane visited India and built relations with Gupta-linked companies.
Malema remarked on the use of the Waterkloof airbase by the Gupta family and pointed out that none other than Zwane himself wrote and signed an invitation to the family in an attempt to justify the illegal landing of the private Gupta aircraft. Again, it was the same man who signed off on major projects while in the position of acting premier of the Free State, and in particular, the Operation Hlasela, a government plan to combat crime and uplift the poor. Malema has called on the public protector to release the report into the public sector.
Malema stated that there is a massive crisis affecting the minerals and mining industry and the appointment of a corrupt minister who does not have knowledge about this sector will worsen the crises in South Africa. Malema believes that to gain promotion in the Zuma cabinet, one should have strong links to the Guptas and be ready to violate procedures. He also said it would be a surprise when the Guptas take over the controversial Department of Minerals Resources.
Zuma is a puppet president controlled by one family – the Guptas, according to Malema, who vowed to never stop exposing corruption within the ANC government. Malema believes South Africa is not safe and is hijacked by a wealthy family who acquired its wealth through immoral means.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
AllAfrica – South Africa: Welcome to the Gupta Republic of South Africa – the New Minister of Mineral Resources Is an Extension of the Gupta Family
News24 -Fight to protect ANC unity, Ramaphosa urges MK Veterans
Featured Photo Courtesy of Rob’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License