Tag Archives: Zuma

South Africa – ANC stalwarts say time running out for the movement


2017-03-23 08:01

Mavuso Msimang (File)

Mavuso Msimang (File)

Johannesburg – A group of over 100 ANC stalwarts is divided on its next move after the party rejected their suggestion to separate its national consultative conference from its policy conference in June.

It appears some have already thrown in the towel while others are still seeking to stop what they have described as a “downward trajectory” for the ANC.

Several sources told News24 that time is running out to save the party ahead of its December elective conference and the 2019 elections, following a decline in support in the 2016 local government elections.

The stalwarts are now looking at speaking directly to party supporters outside the national executive committee (NEC).

The ANC has rejected stalwarts’ calls for a separate consultative conference. They said they will use the two days of the June policy conference to discuss concerns party veterans have raised.

This follows several meetings between the ANC and representatives of the more than 100 party veterans.

“The boat has left the shore and there is nothing that is going to happen,” ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang told News24.

In 2016, ANC leaders were forced to talk to critics, but rejected their suggestions to help the party mend its ways.

“We have for more than five years tried to talk to him (President Jacob Zuma) individually and collectively. They have never found the time to talk to people who are concerned about the organisation,” Msimang said.

Denis Goldberg, one of the three remaining Rivonia trialists, said they should simply have aired their views and called for Zuma and his NEC to step down.

“I don’t think we should have gone the route of negotiations. We should have just said, ‘resign, you are destroying constitutional institutions which people sacrificed their lives for’.”

Buying time

Another veteran, who is part of the group’s steering committee, Wally Serote, feels there is agreement about the need to continue talking to the NEC about holding a consultative conference.

“Time is not on the side of those who want to save the ANC,” he told News24.

All three stalwarts believe reaching out to members of the ANC outside formal structures might be the only way to get the party to address its problems.

“What needs to be done way ahead of the elective conference in December, is to get members of the ANC and to get the million-plus South Africans who traditionally voted for the ANC to understand that efforts must be made to change how the ANC works,” Msimang said.

The stalwarts have already met the SACP and ANC in Gauteng. They plan to meet labour federation Cosatu, and former youth leaders in the ANC.

Serote said there is a sense among the older ANC members that the NEC has been buying time to prevent talks about the consultative conference from going ahead.

He said the ANC cancelled a six-a-side meeting with stalwarts and the steering committee of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Council. This consists of former generals and commissars of the liberation movement’s armed wing.

If corrective steps are not taken, the ANC will face certain death, they have warned.

‘No fear, no favour’

Msimang said the challenge remains telling people about the ANC’s “real ideal”.

“There is a group of people who have decided they will pursue their personal agendas, pursue what gives them advantage, whether it’s money or power and to hell with the ANC.

“ANC people have begun to see that they can’t sit and do nothing and not save the ANC.”

Msimang believes the party needs to overhaul its elective processes, which are plagued by voting slates, factionalism, and money.

“We need to discuss what kind of system will result in a leadership that is not based on loyalties, expectations of money, on if you scratch my back, I will scratch yours,” Msimang said.

The ANC has admitted that its electoral process is flawed, but said changes to the system will only be made at its December elective conference.

For Goldberg, the time has come for ANC members to make their voices heard.

“We must come together in provinces and regions to say enough. The ANC has to be democratic, like the country.”

Those in charge cannot be trusted to deliver successful conferences and elect leaders with integrity when they themselves are compromised.

“We need people who can carry through the policies we have, no fear, no favour,” Goldberg said.

South Africa – Motlanthe says ANC must show more remorse for Nkandla


2017-03-23 10:33

Kgalema Motlanthe (File)

Kgalema Motlanthe (File)

Johannesburg – ANC supporters will continue to support the ANC if the party shows remorse over some of the mistakes it’s made in the past, says former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Motlanthe made the remarks while speaking to journalists in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Wednesday night after he had delivered a keynote address in honour of three ANC stalwarts at the John Nkadimeng branch in the suburb.

Wally Serote, Keorapetse Kgositsile and Mandla Langa were honoured by the branch for their contribution through art, culture and literature during the struggle for liberation.

“If you own up to the truth and take responsibility, people would be able to identify that,” said Motlanthe, reflecting on the ANC’s handling of the Nkandla saga.

Next week marks a year since the highest court in the land handed down a damning judgment against President Jacob Zuma and Parliament over his refusal to pay for non-security upgrades to his private home as ordered by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

The Constitutional Court found that through his actions Zuma failed to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution. The ANC had also been criticised for its own response and handling of the matter.

Cardinal sins

Motlanthe said the ANC had committed its fair share of mistakes but that the question was whether or not the party was able to draw the right lessons out of the errors.

There are three cardinal sins human beings commit, said Motlanthe.

The first one, he said, could be a case where a thief takes someone’s belongings. “If they come back and still find all of those intact they will go out and say this person changed, is no longer a thief,” explained the former president.

He said in the second scenario, a person could be a “thug” but runs away when given the opportunity to kill those who witness the act.

“But if you are a liar and don’t tell the truth, the punishment, the penalty is for people not to believe you even when you are telling the truth. Because when you say: ‘No, you know what I was telling you yesterday is not quite the whole truth but what I am telling you now is the truth’. What do you believe?” he asked.

He said the scenario was also relevant to the organisation, explaining that all people want from the ANC is the truth.

“If you don’t learn from mistakes, then chances are that you will repeat those mistakes and of course the electorate, the nation at large, will only go along with the ANC if indeed it’s convincing in its contrition, not only by words, but in action,” said Motlanthe.

‘Art complemented political work’

The former president spoke fondly about the three artists’ contributions to the liberation movement, and emphasised that the reach artists have in society is far wider than that of political parties.

He said during the struggle for liberation artists such as Serote, Kgositsile and Langa provided an outlet for comrades to clarify their thoughts on some of the pressing issues of the day.

“The works of art complemented political work through providing means of self-reflection,” said Motlanthe.

In what was largely seen as a jab at the ANC, he said artists should not be limited to being used by political parties. The party relies, to some extent, on artists to campaign on its behalf in communities, especially ahead of elections.

“In virtue of their reputation on this and other accounts, artists tend to have a far wider reach than political parties, thus it’s ill-advised for governing parties to expect artists to pledge personal support to them, so they put their craft at the service of narrow party ends,” he said.

He also weighed in on some of the growing incidents of racism in the country, warning against leaders chasing after each incident or individual said to be racist.

‘Fresh ideas’

“If the leadership spends an inordinate amount of time chasing after backward-thought people they’ll never have time to focus on real issues that take this country forward,” said Motlanthe.

He said leaders are meant to point the country towards the future, and the way to do that in these instances is to work on addressing racism from a systemic and economic perspective.

Motlanthe said some of the stalwarts at the event were openly backing Stanley Letsoalo who is a councillor candidate in the ward, which is home to the former president and his predecessor Thabo Mbeki. Former president Nelson Mandela was also based in the area.

Motlanthe said Letsoalo was a young leader, which he believed is what the ANC needs.

“When you have older people in office the mantra is ‘as it was, so shall it be’, and that’s a barrier to progress. This is why we endorse the young, fresh ideas,” he said.

He also emphasised that the only way to groom young people is to give them responsibility.

Motlanthe, who has been mentioned in some circles as the ideal person to take over from Zuma when he steps down in December, dismissed the calls again, instead reiterating his belief that it was time for the younger generation to be given a chance to lead.


South Africa – Ramaphosa calls for decisive action on financial sector collusion

Mail and Guardian

Ramaphosa calls for decisive action on financial sector collusion

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress held in Sandton. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress held in Sandton. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for decisive action against collusion to allow small and medium enterprises (SMME) equal access to opportunities.

Ramaphosa was speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress held in Sandton. This is the first time that the international event for entrepreneurs is being held on the African continent.

“They [small businesses] will prosper if we eliminate barriers to entry by reducing the cost of data, transport and the cost of financial services … I want bankers to listen very carefully,” he said. “They will be sustainable if society is united in combating uncompetitive business behaviour, collusion and price fixing by monopolistic cartels,” Ramaphosa said.

The deputy president also called for tax regimes, which he believed stifle small business, to be reformed. This year the government will enforce new procurement regulations that will require all government tenders with a value greater than R30-million to be 30% subcontracted to small black-owned businesses. Ramaphosa encouraged other governments to develop procurement policies that would set aside funds to buy from SMMEs.

Policy makers including Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, Small Business Development minister Lindiwe Zulu and Gauteng premier David Makhura are expected to interact with entrepreneurs and business at the 4-day congress. Mashaba highlighted his plans to support small businesses in Johannesburg by revitalising old inner-city buildings into commercial spaces for small businesses.

Meanwhile Zulu, whose department is being looked at to create 90% of the 11-million new jobs earmarked for 2030, has lamented the minimal participation of big business in driving the growth of the small business sector. But Ramaphosa said he was pleased that big business was starting to come on board and work with governments in supporting SMMEs.

“Through the Presidential CEO initiative, in which the CEO’s of the country’s largest firms are working together with government and organised labour to promote economic growth, a fund of R1.5 billion has been established to support small and medium enterprise development,” he said.

Government expects that the congress will have significant economic benefits for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors and generate around R45 million for Johannesburg.

South Africa – Max du Preez says white privilege more of a threat than Zuma


South_African_StubMax du Preez, in his inimitable fashion, gives the reader pause for thought in analysing the current discourse around the State Capture controversy and the demonization in certain quarters of President Zuma’s camp. Could it be possible that, in spite of our much-touted Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the multiple (including legislative) initiatives to deal with our racist past, race lurks just below the surface in everything we do? The weight of history is certainly on the side of that being probable. Central to Du Preez’s thesis is his subtle unpacking of that romantic, rainbow word, “we”. It means very different things to different groups of South Africans, as much as we’d all like to protest otherwise.

The biggest danger to emerge perhaps is in the enthusiastic comment by an acquaintance of his; that Zuma is a unifying force, bringing together outraged citizens of all colours against him and his political and business cronies. As in politics, getting enough of the citizenry sufficiently scared by a common enemy is a great short-term vote catching tactic. The Nat propaganda machine worked just so on the minority, keeping them in power, with near disastrous consequences. Yet here and now, that thinking ignores the core ANC values which most of the wider electorate still believe in – and which Zuma stands for – greater equity and the redistribution of land. That’s more fundamental than the machinations of a temporary, allegedly crooked president – and many whites forget it at their peril. It harks back to the total shock and amazement of a Zimbabwean farmer’s wife when their house-maid (of several generations) led the land invaders into their home, spitting at their feet. Oppas! warns du Preez. – Chris Bateman

By Max du Preez*

A well-meaning man of my acquaintance said to me last week: “Isn’t it great how the countrywide resentment of Jacob Zuma has brought black and white South Africans together again? Almost like the 2010 Soccer World Cup!”

Judged by the numbers of whites agreeing enthusiastically with Zuma’s black critics to the point where they’re keen to sign petitions and join protest marches, he seems to have a point.

Protesters call for the removal of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma as the country commemorates the anniversary the country's first democratic elections in Cape Town, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Protesters call for the removal of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma as the country commemorates the anniversary the country’s first democratic elections in Cape Town, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

But the reality is different. My own experience as a white commentator with a large black audience on social and other media, tells me there is no sign of a new unity. On the contrary.

(If you’re disappointed that I wasn’t writing about Zuma’s imminent demise this morning, let it be a reminder of the president’s tenacity and of how slow the ANC ship turns…)

EFF leader Julius Malema said last week: “You white people mustn’t cheer me on because I’m opposing Zuma. He is my enemy exactly because he protects white privilege.”

On Sunday the EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said: “You don’t love us when we talk about uncomfortable questions like race and land, only when we talk about Zuma.”

In the protest politics on our campuses Zuma is simply swept aside and all energy is focused on white privilege and intransigence.

It is an uncomfortable truth: in some circles Zuma grows stronger the more he’s cursed and attacked by white people.

Max du Preez
Max du Preez

White criticism of Zuma often moves some of his black critics to defend him.

Zuma himself and his formidable phalanx of propagandists – the ANC’s Youth and Women’s Leagues, the Gupta mouthpieces ANN7 and The New Age, captured public personalities and Paid Twitter – are capitalising on this.

They have been spreading an opposing narrative to shift the pressure away from the Zuma cabal: The real state capturers, they say, are not the black Guptas but the white Ruperts; Zuma is targeted by whites because he wants to empower blacks and redistribute land; it is blatant racism to constantly refer to the elected black president as corrupt and incompetent; etcetera.

ANN7 last week actually tried to link most of the prominent personalities in the Save South Africa campaign to Johann Rupert’s business empire.

I wasn’t surprised when some Zuma supporters made a big issue of Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom’s race when he proposed a motion of no confidence in Zuma at the ANC’s NEC meeting.

We are very, very far away from a post-racial South Africa.

But it isn’t only Zuma sycophants that react negatively to criticism of the president.

Almost every time I express criticism of the Zuma cabal or of state capture, I am faced with a barrage of reacions like “and where were your criticism when PW Botha and FW de Klerk murdered and oppressed our people?”, “give our land back, then you can criticise”, and “you whites say you hate Zuma, but you actually hate all black people”.

I have often encountered black middle-class people who suspect that most whites who criticise Zuma, actually think black people can’t run a democracy and a modern economy.

I struggle to formulate any counter argument when black friends say to me that no whites had signed petitions or joined protest marches when PW Botha crippled the economy with his Rubicon speech or when Vlakplaas, the CCB and other state death squads targeted activists, but now they suddenly emerge as champions of democracy and human rights.

Affirmative Action

There is obviously nothing wrong with white citizens addressing the ills in our political life. But they would do themselves a favour if they chose their words more carefully.

A post-Zuma ANC would hopefully govern a lot more efficiently, but it would undoubtedly also have to take much more urgent and radical steps to combat inequality in society.

Not only the zeitgeist, but the ANC’s prospects to survive the 2019 general election demand that.

Those white South Africans who spit venom every time they mention Zuma’s name should understand that white people would probably be asked to make significant sacrifices in the post-Zuma era. – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/Columnists/MaxduPreez/be-careful-of-how-you-criticise-zuma-20161129

  • 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’s pots and kettles -says EFF has no respect for democracy

BD Live

President Jacob Zuma during The New Age SABC Business Briefing held on February 10, 2016, in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS/KOPANO TLAPE
President Jacob Zuma during The New Age SABC Business Briefing held on February 10, 2016, in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS/KOPANO TLAPE

President Jacob Zuma has hit back at the EFF, saying the party has “no vision” and does not respect democracy.

The president said if he were “an ordinary citizen” he would call for the permanent removal of the EFF from Parliament. The party constantly undermined the majority, Zuma said.

Speaking at The New Age breakfast on Friday morning, he also raised concern about the “monopoly” SA’s four big banks hold, and said there was a need for more banks so that transformation of the economy could take place.

On Thursday night the president was subjected to a barrage of insults and attacks by opposition parties, particularly the EFF, who delayed his state of the nation speech for more than an hour, labelling him illegitimate and a thief who had broken his oath of office.

After raising numerous points of orders, EFF MPs were eventually forcibly removed from the National Assembly by Parliament protection services, as the house descended into chaos.

Speaking at the breakfast on Friday morning in Cape Town, Zuma said: “Ordinary people should say that the disrupters must be removed from Parliament because they do not respect debate … they do not respect democracy and they want to frustrate debate and the right of the nation to hear the government set out its programme.”

The president said the chaos in Parliament was not a reflection of the “national character”.

“I doubt that it’s a reflection of the national character…. It’s a reflection of a few kind of people … those people only represent 6% of population.

“How did this party come about? We are dealing with people who have quarrels … no vision or views.”

More banks

Zuma also spoke at length about the need for radical economic transformation, saying SA’s failure to redistribute wealth and address the land question was a “ticking time bomb”.

He said there was a need for more banks, because the banking sector was a crucial cog in economic transformation.

“You cannot have just four big banks…. Let us have more banks … let us give opportunities to everyone.

“If the monopoly of four banks remain, the economic control of SA will remain the same….

“You cannot have someone who is super rich and someone is super hungry in one country,” said Zuma.

The president has previously expressed his displeasure with the major banks’ decisions to stop doing business with the Gupta family.

In 2016, they ceased doing business with the Gupta-owned Oakbay, amid allegations that the family was using its relationship with Zuma to secure business and other favours.

“The action looks suspicious…. If a number of banks act in the same way, simultaneously — not one bank, not two banks, including some financial institutions — to any ordinary person, that is not an ordinary act.

“It suggests that there is something, the banks can’t act together on the same manner, in the same way. It gives a feeling that there is something going on here,” Zuma said in Parliament in 2016.

© Business Day

South Africa – Zuma brushes off calls to resign after SONA

‘Peace with who?’ – Zuma on calls to step down
2017-02-10 10:50

President Jacob Zuma (File)

President Jacob Zuma (File)

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma has laughed off calls to step down for “peace’s sake”, saying every leader of the ANC has faced attacks from political opponents.

Zuma was speaking at an SABC New Age Breakfast on Friday morning following his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

SABC journalist Peter Ndoro asked if Zuma had ever thought about resigning for the sake of peace given the public and political backlash against his presidency in recent years.

“For peace’s sake with who?” Zuma said with a smile.

“I’m asking that question, because the first president who became the president of the republic, Nelson Mandela, was attacked by opposition, by forces opposed to the ANC.

“He once called opposition parties Mickey Mouse parties, and they were angry. They have never stopped.

“Then came president Thabo Mbeki. I think he was attacked viciously, by the opposition, and then by the media.

“Then Mbeki left, and Zuma came. He is still in the process of being attacked. The ANC is a big organisation, and opposition wants to reduce it. Not just opposition here, but some forces globally.”

‘Why would people fight Zuma?’

Zuma said that he will be gone in less than three years, and his successor will also be attacked.

“It’s not the individual, it’s not the personality,” he continued to applause.

“Just look how the opposition loves Mandela here. They think he was an angel. But when he was the president he was attacked, because he was the president of the ANC.”

Zuma said the strategy against the ANC was to kill the “head of the snake”.

“That’s where they hit. I’m a very kind fellow, I don’t bite very much,” he said to laughter from the crowd.

“Why would people fight Zuma, really?”

He said disagreements within the party were not a new matter either.

The party’s first president John Dube did not complete two terms, and the ANC encourages engagement and different views, he said.

“It’s part of the life of the ANC. That is our culture, that’s what we do.”

‘I don’t think about my legacy’

Zuma was also asked what he would like his legacy to be once he leaves office.

“I’m not working for my legacy. I’m working for the ANC, for the legacy of the ANC,” he answered.

“Ever since my young age when I joined the ANC, I knew exactly what I was doing.”

He said the only thing he takes into consideration is whether he is still making a contribution to the ANC or not, because through the party he contributes to the country.

“I’ve never one day stopped and said, ‘what is going to be my legacy?'”

“That’s not what I work for. What is going to be the ANC’s legacy? That is what I work on all the time.”

South Africans must work together

Zuma had one last message for South Africans, asking them to work together for the prosperity of the country, as former ANC leader Oliver Tambo once espoused.

“As a country, we need to go to the values that one of our greatest leaders believed in.

“The wish that SA reaches a state of prosperity. And we can only do it together, if there is cohesion, if we love our country, and we do everything to promote our country.

“That is crucial for all South Africans to say: what can I do for my country, so my country reaches prosperity?”

Zuma is due to attend his Presidential Golf Day in Cape Town later on Friday.

He said his golf game is not the greatest, but as long as he gets it up and in the air he has succeeded.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics  |  sona 2017

South Africa – Zuma plays down rumours of cabinet reshuffle


South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday downplayed the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle following months of speculation that he would fire some ministers after a failed bid to remove him as leader of the ruling party.

The president of Africa’s most industrialised economy faced a revolt from inside the African National Congress (ANC) in November after an anti-corruption watchdog called for a judicial inquiry into alleged influence-peddling in Zuma’s government.

Zuma also rattled markets in December 2015 when he fired his respected finance minister in favour of a relatively unknown member of parliament. The rand was again hit last month by speculation that Zuma could remove Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.

“I don’t know, since last year this speculation has been there and nothing has happened. Just forget about it. I will tell