Tag Archives: Zuma

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

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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

South Africa – Dlamini-Zuma starts presidential campaign


Ex-AU Committee chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Tshidi Madia, News24)

Ex-AU Committee chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Tshidi Madia, News24)

Carletonville – Former AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma officially launched her ANC presidential campaign on Sunday.

Although she did not directly speak about accepting the nomination to run for president, a church service hosted by the Faith Ministry Church and the ANC Women’s League was seen as setting off her campaign since her return from Addis Ababa.

“Africa needs more women presidents,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

She said at the moment the continent had only one female president, Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who’s second term ends in October.

The ANC’s National Working Committee had written to structures asking for them to hold off on the succession debate as it hadn’t been opened as yet. The Women’s League had been one of the structures guilty of defying the ANC leadership on the matter. Its president, Bathabile Dlamini, did so yet again.

“The NWC said we shouldn’t discuss this until the succession debate has been opened, but here we are supporting a very humble person,” said Dlamini.

She also compared Dlamini-Zuma to Jesus

“She is also a lion and a lamb,” said the ANCWL president.

The marathon church service was held under the theme women in power, but for the most part it resembled a rally with the pastor at the church Pastor Velaphi Ndebende throwing his weight behind Dlamini-Zuma to take over the reigns as ANC president.

President Jacob Zuma, who is set to step down after finishing off two terms at the helm in December, has also publicly supported calls for a woman to take over from him.

“I am taking this women in leadership [talk] across the country and by December it will be boiling,” Ndebende told cheering crowds.

The Women’s League has already made a pronouncement that Dlamini-Zuma is its preferred candidate for the ANC presidency, and it’s believed some of the guests at the event shared a similar stance.

Minister Des Van Rooyen, chairperson of the Umkhonto We sizwe Military Veterans Association Kebby Mapatsoe and MP Humphrey Memezi were among the crowd who sat through several hours of the service in honour of women.

Although Dlamini-Zuma did not say she was ready for the role personally, she shared stories on how women were born to lead and examples of her own approach to leadership.

“Women are practical, they want to see things done. I always say to people that I worked with, I will never punish you if you make a mistake working,” she said.

Corruption can’t tolerated

Dlamini-Zuma said corruption was not only robbing people, but also eroding the trust they had in the government.

‘You can’t use government money or church money to enrich yourself,” she said.

She said it was also corrupt to earn a salary but not do the work one is mandated to do.

The former AU Commission chair who’s hardly said much on the state of South Africa and its politics over the years, said South Africans were looking for a responsive government.

“You can’t be responsive if you don’t want to work,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma also shared her thoughts on a long-standing debate about the future of the country as far as energy is concerned.

“We mustn’t listen to those who say we must only use renewable energy,” said Dlamini Zuma.

No developed country uses only renewable energy, there must be a mix she said.

South Africa – ANC enslaved by struggle habits

Mail and Guardian

Dated: The youth base their vote on whether a party can deliver a just South Africa, not on struggle credentials. Photo: Mujahid Safodien/AFP
Dated: The youth base their vote on whether a party can deliver a just South Africa, not on struggle credentials. Photo: Mujahid Safodien/AFP

There is no compelling reason for the ANC to remain enslaved by liberation struggle habits. Almost 23 years into democracy it is time for the governing party to habituate itself to new political ways of being.

Take the cringeworthy way in which the battle for the leadership of the ANC is (not) unfolding. The party leadership pretends there isn’t already a debate raging in its ranks about who should be elected to the top positions in the party later this year.

Lobbying has started already. Factions have already emerged. Former political foes within the tripartite alliance have started, behind the scenes, to co-operate with each other to ensure their slates might have the best chance of being elected. Horse trading is well under way.

So why on earth is the party leadership telling its members, the media and the public not to talk of succession?

A vow of silence doesn’t help to ensure cohesion within the party. Differences about who should lead and what the next vision and plan for the country’s future is to take to the electorate in 2019 aren’t going away just because you are not debating these issues openly and publicly.

There is no legitimate fear about letting candidates speak in the first person, own their ambition and make a case for their fitness to hold office within the party and ultimately within the state.

There is no reason why the party shouldn’t embrace transparency.

There are two parts to the party’s misplaced attitude towards open contestation for leadership positions. The first is that this attitude is rooted in the fairly opaque nature of liberation-era politics. When you are fighting a monster like the powerful and immoral apartheid state, maximum transparency can be costly in the fight for freedom.

Liberation movements need a mix of limited freedoms in their deepest structures — because ideas still need to be debated to ensure the best ones guide the fight for freedom — but also an acceptance of a degree of command structured leadership. Liberation movements aren’t wholly opaque, of course. But they certainly aren’t blueprints for what political parties should aim at in a democratic culture premised on deliberation and participation.

The ANC’s current leadership sounds archaic in its insistence that no one should talk about leadership succession. They are showing us how hard it is to teach old political dogs new tricks. The awkward truth of course is that the ANC never really got the point of internal democratic culture. It fears democratic habits rather than embracing them as a means to choosing the brightest and the best to lead the party and the country.

And that is why the party makes a bizarre distinction between debating the ideal traits one wants in a leader, and directly naming and evaluating actual candidates for these positions that will soon be vacant. This is disingenuous.

Not least because in reality ANC members are already doing both: thinking about what kind of leadership it needs as our country marches towards the next general election, and who should be elected to that leadership structure.

The second issue here is a continued refusal to make full sense of the thumping that the party received in the local elections last year. The youth are disproportionately affected, as a demographic, by the stubbornly high levels of unemployment and low economic growth that will remain features of our economy for a while yet.

Young people have disproved the lie that they are apolitical. They are engaged. They are protesting. They are deeply committed to justice and fighting exclusion. That is why we see protests in the academy and also why many unemployed young people are often visibly present in service-delivery protests.

A crucial characteristic of this demographic that the ANC isn’t paying enough attention to is weak loyalty to any one of the main political parties. Struggle memory has little effect on their political orientation. They want a responsive state that is demonstrably committed to bringing about a more just South Africa regardless of who it is that is in charge of that state.

The implication for the ANC is that liberation-era habits that have no resonance with this increasingly younger set of active citizens is a recipe for failure. The party needs to embrace the structural changes in how society works that have become everyday reality over the past 20 years.

These includes technological and social changes that must influence the party’s internal processes and habits if they are to remain relevant.

Unlike in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, we now have digital identities and online platforms that facilitate the free flow of information and continuous 24-hour debate between citizens. In that context you cannot control the minds of citizens. They know too much. They have more agency than ANC elders had. They can organise easily.

The ANC must embrace modernity and accept that the world has changed irrevocably since demo-cracy’s dawn. Voters are not blank slates onto which the ANC can spray archaic political rhetoric. The ANC must embrace transparency and open contestation.

After all, the struggle was for democracy, wasn’t it?

South Africa – banks forecast political distractions but better economic performance in 2017

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Political distractions no impediment to growth in SA in 2017, bank forecasts

Peter Attard Montalto. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES
Peter Attard Montalto. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES

Politics will be a big distraction for SA in 2017, but the country’s economic growth should still be better than in 2016, Japanese investment bank Nomura said in an outlook for the coming year released on Thursday

SA’s economic growth will accelerate slightly to about 1% in 2017 from 0.5% in 2016, Nomura head of emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa economics Peter Attard Montalto forecasts.

“The key narrative remains negative per capita income growth,” he wrote in a research note.

The good news is that inflation will fall back under government’s 6% ceiling to average 5.6%, and that the Reserve Bank is likely to hold the repo rate flat at 7% over 2017.

The bad news is that SA will get downgraded to junk status, and that the ANC’s “tenderpreneur faction” will place Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as presidential candidate for 2019, if Attard Montalto’s predictions are correct.

Some key events to watch are the ANC’s January 8 anniversary celebrations, the monthly national executive committee (NEC) meetings, the state of the nation address at the start of February, and the budget at the end of February. The ANC’s policy conference and one-day ‘consultative’ conference at the start of July will also be key.

“But the real action will be below the surface as campaigning occurs at branch level. Investors need to be cautious on public pronouncements of support and be aware that the winner will be the person with the most branch delegates voting for them,” Attard Montalto said.

“As such the restructuring, closure and opening of branches and shifts in membership numbers is a crucial, ‘dirty’, part of the campaign and this is why we ultimately believe the tenderpreneur faction behind President Jacob Zuma can win with its likely candidate in Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She will represent the status quo for the party, though the coalitions she forms may be able to shift policy either to a better or worse place.

“Ultimately, her main rival Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa does not have the grass roots support or the ability to run a dirty campaign in the same way in our view. Therefore, we think a key event in the second quarter will be the transition of power from Zuma to his successor as president of the country to allow them to campaign to victory in the 2019 national elections.

“We believe a Cabinet reshuffle is likely in the new year as Zuma purges those that stood up to him in the NEC in 2016. He is weakened by that event, but not weak. There is some risk to him from rebel ANC members of Parliament, and we believe he does not have the political capital to remove Financial Minister Pravin Gordhan because of a pro-patronage anti-Zuma key faction in the NEC that is sticking with him for now. Ultimately, we think Zuma’s fate rests in their hands. Politics will be a big distraction from reforms and policy.”

Attard Montalto expects SA to be downgraded to junk status by the ratings agencies in the coming year.

“The National Treasury remains hopeful that a recovery in per capita income growth will aid fiscal sustainability, but we do not see this and so we expect fiscal consolidation and debt stabilisation to stall.

“February’s budget will be closely watched for details on higher taxes but we expect a scatter-gun approach. We see the National Treasury having political room to undertake difficult fiscal policy moves and some scope to be involved in parastatals, but not wider control over structural reform policy,” he wrote.

“A 2016 rating reprieve shows agencies unable to decide the direction of growth and reforms and so allowing the benefit of the doubt. This should eventually run out – possibly in 2017 – and result in downgrades. Parastatal risk, especially from Eskom and its nuclear ambitions, will likely be a key component.”

South Africa and Zuma – Happy Christmas: gird the loins for a traumatic start to the New Year


Dec 23 2016 09:18

Alec Hogg

London – Take some deep breaths between eating all that traditional turkey because if my “usually reliable source” is right, the New Year will bring fresh challenges. Starting early.

I was dubious, but after belligerent addresses to the ANC Youth League this week by President Jacob Zuma and his acolyte Collen Maine now not too much. The national wrecking ball’s war talk is positioning loyalists for another Nenegate-type blunder.

READ: #NeneGate, according to Zuma

My insider paints it like this: When ANC bigwigs meet in the first week of January, Zuma will push for and get an “accelerated radical transformation” mandate. He’ll share his road map to Zimbabwe in the ANC’s New Year statement on January 8, setting up a major cabinet reshuffle soon after Davos ends on January 20.

READ: ‘We want the rand to fall so that when it rises, we will control the economy’ – Maine

That will usher in a new Finance Minister with Pravin Gordhan ejected along with other cabinet members (Hanekom, Motsoaledi, etc) who put the Constitution above party loyalty. It will ensure Zuma’s ex-wife takes over as the next ANC leader – and keeps him out of jail.

READ: Black people still don’t control the economy – Zuma

My source is adamant this is how things will play out. Even if he’s half right, 2017 promises to be another interesting year for South Africa. Unfortunately.