Tag Archives: South Africa

South Africa – Blade says replacing Mbeki with Zuma did not solve problems like factionalism

Mail and Guardian

Blade Nzimande (pictured) says the tripartite alliance failed to deal with factionalism when former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled. (Gallo)
Blade Nzimande (pictured) says the tripartite alliance failed to deal with factionalism when former president Thabo Mbeki was recalled. (Gallo)

South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande has said they made a mistake by believing replacing former president Thabo Mbeki with President Jacob Zuma would solve the problems they saw in the Mbeki presidency.

Mbeki was recalled in 2008 as the country’s president.

“We are back where we were 10 years ago. We dealt with the symptom and not the fundamental problems,” Nzimande said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of Cosatu Gauteng’s provincial council of shop stewards.

ANC alliance partners SACP and Cosatu led the vigorous campaign for Zuma to ascend to party presidency ahead of the 2007 elections.

They are now leading calls for him to step down, following his Cabinet reshuffle that saw five ministers fired, including former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

Failure to consult
In an unprecedented move, Zuma changed his executive without consulting the ANC leadership and its alliance partners.

Nzimande said while they want Zuma to go, launching an anti-Zuma campaign would be a mistake.

“The issues that make Cosatu and the SACP take these decisions is deeper than an individual. Though we say we think it will be appropriate for the president to step aside, we can’t turn it into a personalised anti-Zuma campaign. It would be a mistake,” Nzimande said.

He said they were witnessing some of the issues they had with the Mbeki presidency, including the failure to transform the economy and consult the movement on key decisions and the abuse of state organs.

Nzimande said they failed to deal with factions when Mbeki was recalled, taking a veiled jab at the “Premier League” that has been Zuma’s support base.

“What we never dealt with are factions that captured the organisation. You now have what are … provincial king makers going around controlling the organisation and causing lots of problems. We never dealt with that,” Nzimande said.

He said they would now consult the alliance on the way forward as Zuma has said he would stay in power until 2019. – News24

South Africa – Nyanda questions authenticity of MK veterans association

Daily Maverick

Our allegiance is to South Africa first – we cannot fight against our own people

    • Ranjeni Munusamy
      ranjeni munusami BW

      Ranjeni Munusamy is a survivor of the Salem witch trials and has the scars to show it. She has a substantial collection of tattered t-shirts from having “been there and done it” – from government, the Zuma trials, spin-doctoring and upsetting the applecart in South African newsrooms. Following a rather unexciting exorcism ceremony, she traded her femme-fatale gear for a Macbook and a packet of Liquorice Allsorts. Her graduation Cum Laude from the School of Hard Knocks means she knows a thing or two about telling the South African story.

Photo:  The Chief of South African National Defence Force Siphiwe Nyanda salutes the General Officer commanding the North West province April 27, 1999, during Freedom Day Celebrations in Umtata stadium. This was the last Defence Force day parade which President Nelson Mandela attended in his Capacity of Commander in-Chief of the armed forces, before his retirement after the country's second all-race elections on June 2, 1999.

Photo: The Chief of South African National Defence Force Siphiwe Nyanda salutes the General Officer commanding the North West province April 27, 1999, during Freedom Day Celebrations in Umtata stadium. This was the last Defence Force day parade which President Nelson Mandela attended in his Capacity of Commander in-Chief of the armed forces, before his retirement after the country’s second all-race elections on June 2, 1999.

As the ANC’s internal battles intensify, another constituent structure has spoken out about the crisis, calling for the party’s mid-year policy conference to be “canned”. Veterans of the ANC’s now disbanded armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), are stepping up efforts to convene a national consultative conference to open critical engagement to “arrest the further downward spiral of the ANC”. There is also increasing concern from the former MK commanders and combatants about the activities of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and their use of “tropical camouflage uniforms” in their names. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY. 29

If South Africans are befuddled about the pseudo militia group claiming to be MK veterans parading at ANC events and guarding the party headquarters, Albert Luthuli House, it pales in comparison to how the actual soldiers who fought for South Africa’s liberation feel. Umkhonto we Sizwe’s last Chief of Staff and former Chief of the SA National Defence Force, General Siphiwe Nyanda, says the MK council steering committee has held several meetings with the leaders of MKMVA to discuss their use of their army’s name and regalia.

“We need to address who are these young people that we see at funerals and birthday celebrations?” Nyanda said at a MK Council media briefing at Liliesleaf farm. He said a meeting with MKMVA last week deadlocked as no agreement could be reached on who should attend a MK elective conference they planned to convene in May. 20

“MKMVA wants to play numbers game and bring all these young people in uniform we don’t know and to swamp conference with people not genuine MK members, to preserve their positions”, Nyanda said. 10

He said MK disbanded in 1994 and former soldiers integrated into the SANDF, South African Police Service (SAPS) and the public service. 4

South Africa – MK veterans to “guard” Luthuli House during Friday protests


2017-04-06 18:15

MKMVA chair Kebby Maphatsoe. (Mahlatse Mphoentle Gallen, News24)

MKMVA chair Kebby Maphatsoe. (Mahlatse Mphoentle Gallen, News24)

Johannesburg – The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association is defying the African National Congress and mobilising even more members to “stand guard” at party headquarters during Friday’s protests.

The association called on its members in other provinces, particularly Gauteng, to join the 600 expected to arrive from KwaZulu-Natal, and “protect” Luthuli House, president Kebby Maphatsoe said on Thursday.

The ANC earlier distanced itself from any marches to Luthuli House in protest against, or in defence of, the party.

Religious groups, civil society organisations and political parties were expected to stage marches across the country against President Jacob Zuma on Friday.

The Democratic Alliance had planned to march to Luthuli House, in central Johannesburg, but had since changed its route following threats of violence from the ANC Youth League.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said they would march peacefully against Zuma. He called on the ANC’s leaders and members to respect their democratic rights.

“We will not be intimidated by a handful of anti-democratic thugs,” Maimane said.

– Make your voice heard. Are you marching or anywhere near a live protest? Send us your eyewitness accounts and pictures

Growing revolt

In 2016, MKMVA members clashed outside Luthuli House with ANC members who called for Zuma to resign.

This followed the ANC’s loss of support in the August local government elections, and the Constitutional Court’s judgment that Zuma failed to uphold the Constitution by refusing to repay some of the money spent on his Nkandla homestead.

“We will protect President Jacob Zuma, protect the staff of the ANC and the leadership collective of the ANC, especially now that they are preparing for the June policy conference,” Maphatsoe said.

He said the growing revolt against Zuma was nothing but an attempt to remove a democratically elected government.

“They can’t wait for 2019 to test whether the ANC has the support. We call upon them to stop cheap politicking calling for our president to resign.”

The MKMVA had defended Zuma’s decision to fire five ministers, including Pravin Gordhan, last Thursday. Zuma had done nothing wrong and it was his prerogative to fire ministers.

Maphatsoe claimed ANC leaders agreed with Zuma’s decision to reshuffle his Cabinet. He said a regime change agenda was being funded from overseas.

South Africa – Mbete to look at no confidence vote while keeping quiet on reshuffle

Mail and Guardian

In order for a vote of no confidence to be scheduled in Parliament Mbete says she would first have to assess the merit of the requests. (M&G/Delwyn Verasamy)
In order for a vote of no confidence to be scheduled in Parliament Mbete says she would first have to assess the merit of the requests. (M&G/Delwyn Verasamy)

While members of the ANC top six have stated their opinion on President Jacob Zuma’s midnight reshuffle, ANC chairperson and Speaker of the National Assembly is withholding her opinion until she learns more about what happened.

At press briefing on Sunday, Mbete also told journalists that she cut a working trip to Bangladesh short after receiving requests for Parliament to hold a vote of no confidence from both the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Mbete made her statement shortly after arriving back in Johannesburg from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The opposition parties’ request for a vote of no confidence against President Zuma came after a cabinet reshuffle was announced after midnight on Thursday. There 10 ministers and 10 deputy ministers who were affected in the reshuffle, including former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.

On Monday night, senior officials of the ANC met with its alliance partner, the South African Communist Party (SACP). In that meeting, Mbete says that Zuma briefed attendees with historical context on his working relationship with Gordhan.

The “intelligence report” which Zuma is said to have used as a reason to fire Gordhan, was also brought up in that meeting.

Mbete said that all 12 people in the meeting “appreciated” that the “President took us into his confidence”. A range of matters were discussed, but the so-called intelligence report was not seen in that meeting. Zuma only spoke of it, Mbete said.

“We did not discuss an intelligence report. The president mentioned it. We did not see it,” Mbete said.

On Thursday, Mbete said she received a call from Zuma where he informed her that there would be an announcement made by the Presidency. At the time, she said that she did not know details of the announcement or the names of the other ministers and deputies, besides Gordhan and Jonas, who might be affected by a Cabinet reshuffle.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has said the reshuffle made him ‘uncomfortable’ and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize said that there had been no collective leadership on the decision. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called it “unacceptable”, but despite the criticisms from within the ANC top six, Mbete chose to remain silent on her opinion.

She said that she was in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the time the reshuffle was announced and does not have all the information about what transpired to make an informed opinion.

READ MORE: ‘We will make his life unbearable’: ANC talks rebellion against Zuma

Mbete, however, also suggested that while ANC members have spoken out against Zuma’s reshuffle, the party prefers it when discussions happen within party structures as opposed to on public forums.

The vote of no confidence
Mbete outlined that in order for a vote of no confidence to be scheduled in Parliament she would first have to assess the merit of the requests and consult with ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Once the consultations had concluded, it could then be decided if the vote should take place. Mbete said that the consultations should take a “few days” but will begin once she returns to her office on Tuesday if Mthembu and Ramaphosa are available.

READ MORE: How do we impeach a president?

Mbete said that consultation could not begin sooner because she will be at a national working committee in Luthuli House on Monday and will only return to Cape Town in the evening.

The EFF, the DA, and the SACP have released strong condemnations of Zuma’s reshuffle and have since asked the president to resign.

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She’s written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra’eesa Pather

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South Africa – Max du Preez says Zille has no choice but to resign

News 24

Helen Zille’s only option is to resign

Helen Zille has faced a backlash from Twitter users following her latest posts which appeared to argue for, in her opinion, the positive aspects of colonialism. This is not the first time the Western Cape Premier has been controversial on social media. Watch. WATCH

The only outcome of the Helen Zille Twitter saga that won’t seriously harm the DA is if she resigns from all her political positions as soon as possible and retires from politics.

It would be a tragic end to an illustrious political career, but the only worse option would be for her to fight back, see her white supporters mobilise around her and then get blamed for undermining her party’s possibilities to grow.

If she doesn’t resign and the DA’s disciplinary committee decides not to suspend her, Mmusi Maimane and all the other promising black leaders of the DA will in future struggle to counter accusations that they’re mere black pawns of a white power bloc.

If she does get suspended, the hysteria among many white DA voters will run high and it will divide the party even more along racial lines.

The best option would be for her to quit, not to wait for a disciplinary hearing.

But it’s about more than just the DA’s fortunes. Black South Africans should be forgiven if they have the impression that if a prominent “progressive” liberal white such as Zille has these views on colonialism, most white people do.

It was an astonishing judgement error on Zille’s part to think something as sensitive and complex as the legacy of colonialism could be discussed reasonably and sensibly on a medium like Twitter.

It’s not as if she’s new to Twitter. She has put her foot in it several times with her tweets and every time complained that she was misunderstood.

Why did she not wait to write about her experiences in Singapore in a thoughtful piece, as she did afterwards, using more than 140 words?

Secondly, the wording of her tweets was so thoughtless that one can hardly believe she’s a seasoned, sophisticated politician.

She started off well with her series of tweets by stating that we could learn lessons from Singapore, a country that had also been colonised and is now thriving.

But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Zille descend to the level where she mentioned piped water and transport infrastructure as examples of the positives of colonialism.

It’s the old crude technology argument: if white European colonialists didn’t arrive on the southern tip of Africa 360 years ago, the poor indigenous people would still be living in the Iron Age. So be grateful.

How did Zille think black South Africans, and black DA supporters, were going to react to that?

No wonder racial fundamentalists like Steve Hofmeyr and AfriForum’s Kallie Kriel jumped to her defence.

This was Kriel’s brain flash on Twitter: “To hypocrites that react hysterically re Helen Zille: If you use colonial infrastructure without acknowledging it, it’s called plagiarism!”

Kriel and Hofmeyr’s ilk loved this and embroidered: black people who use cell phones, drive cars, play soccer and watch television should thank colonialism.

As an Afrikaner I find it strange that others of my tribe, whose ancestors were themselves victims of British colonialism and who like to describe themselves as indigenous Africans, defend colonialist oppression with such enthusiasm.

I was wondering: what technological advancement did my (mostly poorly educated) Voortrekker ancestors deliver to the black people in the interior when they trekked there in the early 19th century, apart from firearms that is?

I get that Zille was trying to say South Africa could have, like Singapore, done more with what they had after colonial oppression ended.

But what point was she trying to make with her other tweets? It’s not as if it’s in dispute that technology and knowledge have over millennia been exchanged between civilisations and groups. Neither does anyone reasonably deny that colonial occupation has been part of the human condition since the earliest days of our species.

Any sensible discussion on colonialism should at least make mention of the fact that foreign occupation seriously interrupted the natural development of occupied societies; that indigenous knowledge systems got destroyed; that societies only develop technologies their circumstances demand for their survival.

Zille should visit countries like Ethiopia, where powerful and technologically advanced kingdoms arose from the 8th century onwards. They developed technologies like their own script, complex architecture and irrigation systems because they needed them.

I wanted to send Zille my books on the pre-colonial philosopher Mohlomi, a towering intellectual giant of his time who had never once met a European; and his protégé, King Moshoeshoe I, a leader of great wisdom and foresight who, among other things, had invented the concept of diplomatic immunity and was honoured for that by the king of France.

The legacy of colonialism and how its victims feel about it is too complex a topic for me to discuss even here, where I have 800 words.

But two reactions to her tweets that came very quickly from two of Zille’s black DA colleagues are worth mentioning.

Should a woman who was raped, asked one, declare that it wasn’t an altogether terrible experience because a child was born after the assault?

Another asked whether Namibians should thank South Africa for its brutal military occupation because the old SADF left behind good roads they can now use.

Do the honourable thing, Helen. For your own sake, for that of your party and for all our sakes, retire now.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

South Africa – Are there cracks in the ANC’s premier league?

BD live

Cracks seem to be appearing in the ANC’s ‘premier league’

Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza criticises his Free State counterpart for punting him for the position of deputy president in the party, saying it was uncalled fo

28 February 2017 – 15:19 PM Mandla Khoza
David Mabuza.   Picture: SOWETAN
David Mabuza. Picture: SOWETAN

Cracks are appearing in a powerful ANC faction dubbed the “premier league” after Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza on Monday criticised his Free State counterpart for punting him for the position of deputy president in the party, saying it was uncalled for.

The premier league is a group of ANC chairs, supportive of President Jacob Zuma, which includes the North West, the Free State and Mpumalanga.

However, it is understood there are differences within the group over who to support for which positions at the ANC’s elective conference in December.

Zuma has effectively come out in support of former African Union (AU) Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him as president of the ANC.

There is behind-the-scenes jostling for the position of deputy president and at the weekend Free State ANC chairperson Ace Magashule at Mabuza’s brother’s funeral told ANC members that if they wanted Mabuza as the next deputy president, they should elect him.

Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, Mabuza described Magashule’s comments as uncalled for.

He said the ANC had decided not to openly name candidates for positions and to focus on policy instead. He urged people not to use his name to bypass ANC rules.

“As the ANC we have taken a decision to not discuss names … let’s talk about important issues like what have we done and what we need to do. Yes, people have a right to talk and discuss my name and I will not respond because they are talking about me not with me,” Mabuza said.

“I do not have to respond about the premier of Free State, all I can tell him is that do not break the rule of the ANC in my name. I hear people are talking in corners about me … there might be good and bad intentions.

“So the premier [Magashule] came here to support me when I was burying my brother, so there were people of the ANC who came to support me. I let him speak to the members of the ANC, but he then (uvukwa ngumoya) meaning spirits, saying if they want me they must elect me,” said Mabuza.

Mabuza said the province had taken a decision to support the families of the three Lily Mine victims, Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyirenda whose bodies have been trapped in the mine since February 5 2016.

“On the Lily Mine issue, I met with the mine and the Minister of Mineral Resources [Mosebenzi Zwane] to discuss the way forward and also see what to do since there were promises that were not kept. The mine pleaded that they do not have money hence they are on business rescue, so … they are looking for monies to continue with the operation and recovery of the bodies. As the provincial government, we have taken it [on] ourselves that we will support the families of the three victims.

“I have also seen that in that community there is dire poverty hence as government we will try to make sure they get services correctly” said Mabuza.

With Natasha Marrian

South Africa – if Zuma resigns should he get an amnesty?


Amnesty if Zuma goes?

2017-02-15 10:34

President Jacob Zuma (File: AFP)

President Jacob Zuma (File: AFP)

Adriaan Basson

Would South Africans be willing to let President Jacob Zuma off the hook to see the back of him?

Those in the know think that legal amnesty may be the only option left to remove Zuma from his position as state president before his term ends in 2019, which has now become a matter of urgency.

Neither the country, nor the ANC can afford Zuma any longer.

I wrote a similar column in 2014 and was admonished by the ANC for my “desperate and futile campaign” to get rid of Zuma. In the past three years, Zuma has done a sterling job himself of proving not only to his critics, but to his own party why he is unfit to govern.

His State of the Nation Address was nothing more than a poorly executed cut-and-paste exercise mixed with alternative facts to showcase Zuma’s newfound zest for “radical economic transformation”.

But the emperor was naked.

On his left – dressed in red overalls and hardhats – sat the real politicians who had placed economic freedom at the centre of our political discourse.

Not without fault, the EFF has been successful in championing the cause of landlessness, the skewed ownership of capital and the slow pace of transformation in numerous sectors.

With able assistance from his friends in Saxonwold, Zuma is now attempting to hijack this cause for his own political survival. “Radical economic transformation” will be his fight song in 2017, whenever he is challenged by forces from within the ANC and outside.

He will fob off criticism with expensive spin that “white monopoly capital” is attempting to hijack the state by getting rid of him, as if Johann Rupert, Christo Wiese or Nicky Oppenheimer (or Patrice Motsepe, for that matter) have any inclination to fix potholes or run hospitals.

Let’s be clear: there is a serious conversation to be had about economic transformation or the lack thereof 23 years after democracy. Yes, great strides have been made by the ANC (Zuma was silent on this in his SONA speech) and the private sector, but much more needs to be done.

And let’s be as clear: Jacob Zuma is not the man to head this new struggle. Zuma has spent 19 years as a member of the executive in KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.

In KwaZulu-Natal he was MEC for economic affairs. As deputy president since 1999 he had the highest level of access and influence on the ANC’s and the country’s economic policy. If he had not been radical for 19 years, he will not be radical now.

Those who buy into Zuma’s latest rhetoric should ask Zwelinzima Vavi, Julius Malema and Blade Nzimande to show them their Polokwane battle scars.

The only radical thing to have happened under Zuma’s presidency was the radical capture of the state by Zuma’s family and friends, the Guptas.

This includes the radical empowerment of Zuma’s son, Duduzane, and nephew, Khulubuse; the radical abuse of an air force base by the Guptas; the radical expenditure on Zuma’s Nkandla homestead and the radical looting of money from state-owned enterprises to enrich the businesses of the Zuptas.

No wonder the fight-back has been so radical. The Zuptas have everything to lose. They are fighting for their lives when they are not flying to Dubai on unknown business. The “analysis” of their favourite commentator Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi, who arrived with Duduzane at SONA, has become more radical in recent days.

Who knows what’s happening behind the scenes. Who knows why Duduzane left his family in a Melrose Arch restaurant recently and dashed off to join arms deal playboy Fana Hlongwane in his navy blue Bentley. Where did they speed off to?

How much or little do we actually know of what’s going on? Maybe there will be a KPMG report in the future that will bring all these puzzle pieces together.

What is clear is that Zuma is politically much weaker than a year ago. He is “paranoid” about the possibility of an attack or a coup; physically or politically. That’s why he needs soldiers to protect him at SONA and a friendly successor to protect him from jail.

No wonder murmurings of legal amnesty if he goes are picking up steam again. This time even the most rigid constitutional purists may be willing to bend the rules to see the back of our deeply dishonoured president.

– Adriaan Basson is the editor of News24. Follow him on Twitter: @adriaanbasson.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.