Tag Archives: Zuma

South Africa – ANCYL hits out at Ramaphosa over his support for Gordhan


2016-10-25 16:55

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (File)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (File)

Johannesburg – The ANC Youth League has been critical of all who’ve publicly pledged support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan ahead of his court appearance on November 2, saying that he should go through the normal court processes like everyone else.

“Society wants us to believe there are some who must not be prosecuted and prove themselves innocent and that some should be prosecuted,” ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza said.

He said Gordhan should be allowed the space to undergo the legal process without people taking sides, he also hit out at the deputy president of both the country and the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, for publicly supporting Gordhan.

“The deputy president is succumbing to pressure that is portraying [Pravin] Gordhan as someone who must not be charged.”

Nzuza criticised Ramaphosa for taking sides, arguing that a leader in government should not do this.

“There are many others in government who have been taken to court on a number of occasions, but the DP [Ramaphosa] has never released a statement to say he supports their institutions. Minister of police was taken to court, he never received support from him,” Nzuza told News24 on Tuesday.

Gordhan is facing a charge of fraud along with two former South African Revenue Service officials, Oupa Magashula and Ivan Pillay, in connection with an early retirement package signed off by Gordhan for Pillay in 2010.

Stop drawing conspiracies

Nzuza said he was worried about the double standards shown by many, including some in the ANC.

“Now the integrity committee and other people zoomed in, including the organisation, into Marius Fransman, they ended up having him set aside because he was charged with a case. Pravin [Gordhan] is charged and no one is saying he must step aside,” said Nzuza.

Several leaders in both business and the ANC – including Jackson Mthembu, Max Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize and Matthews Phosa – have come out in support of the finance minister.

Fransman was found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute in July following claims of sexual assault by Louisa Wynand.

Nzuza also rubbished concerns raised by many that Gordhan’s legal woes were politically motivated.

“People must stop drawing conspiracies when there are none, where is the evidence? [If] it’s politically motivated, provide proof,” he said.

Nzuza said Gordhan was not pursuing a position in the party’s elective conference taking place in 2017, yet people seemed to be creating a perception that he is being targeted because of the battle to lead the party.

South Africa – ANC and Robben Island veteran Mlangeni tells Zuma to go

IOL News

Rivonia trialist Mlangeni says Zuma must go

 / 24 October 2016, 07:51am

Johannesburg – Andrew Mlangeni has accused President Jacob Zuma of killing the economy and the ANC.


The ruling party’s self-destruction pains him, says Andrew Mlangeni. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha. Credit: THE STAR

The former Robben Islander and current chair of the party’s integrity committee condemned the party’s leaders for not forcing the president to resign after the damning Nkandla constitutional judgment.damning Nkandla constitutional judgment.

In an exclusive interview with The Star on Thursday, the nonagenarian said it pained him to see the party persisting on a path of self-destruction by failing to rein in corrupt leaders.

Mlangeni said it was hurtful that the party continued to allow divisive practices such as patronage and factionalism to take hold.

He was initially reluctant to speak about the ANC’s problems openly, maintaining his long-standing stance of criticising it only within the confines of the party’s internal structures.

“You see, for example, a large number of groups have approached me on the Nkandla issue. I have rejected them. They say: Mlangeni, your colleague (Ahmed) Kathrada and others have spoken and say the president must fall. You are quiet’.”

Quizzed further, Mlangeni, 91, who is one of the three remaining Rivonia Trial accused along with Kathrada and Denis Goldberg, criticised the ANC national executive committee (NEC) for failing to recall Zuma. He stressed he was speaking in his personal capacity.

“It (the Nkandla issue) could’ve been handled differently. They should have taken a decision and asked him to resign because by not resigning, he has killed the organisation, and the economy of the country has gone down,” he said.

In April, the Constitutional Court found that the president had failed to “uphold, defend and respect the constitution” by disregarding the remedial action taken against him by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Amid the groundswell for Zuma to resign, the NEC said it had accepted Zuma’s apology, after he had addressed the nation.

In August, following its four-day meeting, the NEC resolved to accept collective responsibility for the party’s disastrous performance in the August municipal elections, which has largely been blamed on the scandals associated with Zuma.

Mlangeni said the NEC should have realised that persisting with the implementation of e-tolls and not dealing with the scandals around the Guptas was so damaging that the ANC had “lost 8 percent in the 2014 (national) election”.

“The e-tolls issue made us lose some votes. The Nkandla issue and the Guptas thing, we should have seen that these are going to cost us more. We lost very badly.”

Zuma has applied for an urgent court application to interdict the release of Madonsela’s state capture report, which the Guptas – who are the president’s close friends – are at the centre of because of their alleged undue influence on the appointment of cabinet ministers and the awarding of tenders.

Mlangeni said it pained him to see the ANC losing voter support because of its self-inflicted mistakes. “It’s hurtful because people stayed away from voting.

“They say punish the ANC, the ANC must not take us for granted’. If you haven’t learnt from that, you will never learn.”

Mlangeni was cagey when asked if the integrity commission was contributing to the problems by not reading the riot act to wayward ANC members and leaders.

However, The Star understands that the integrity committee was not necessarily a toothless bulldog but that it was being frustrated by the ANC’s failures.

A highly placed source familiar with the integrity committee’s work said: “We are not struggling. We get information, including from the media, where people are involved (in wrongdoing). If, for example, on the issue of corruption, there’s evidence that so and so, a member of the organisation, is involved in this and that, we call that person (and say:) “Monna (man) or mme (ma’am), there is this thing about you in the media. What’s your story?’.”

“We don’t just rely on the media. We also do our own investigation. And on the basis of all that, we then take a decision and make a recommendation. But the NGC (national general council) doesn’t implement it. They are discouraging us by not implementing our recommendations. That must be corrected,” said the source.

Mlangeni said his wish was to leave the ANC in a good state when he died. “At the moment that’s not the position. There are many mistakes that we have made, and those mistakes must be corrected, otherwise we are going to lose the election again.”

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party wouldn’t comment on members publicly criticising the party. “I won’t engage with members who raise issues in public, whether it’s Uncle Kathy (Kathrada) or Mlangeni. If there’s anything to be communicated internally, their comment must be to strengthen the organisation.”

South Africa – Zuma says he is not answerable to opposition parties over state capture report


Zuma ‘not answerable to EFF, UDM and Cope’

2016-10-22 09:22

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma says he will not respond to the EFF, UDM and Cope until the court grants the parties’ permission to oppose his application to interdict the release of the state capture report.

The three had joined the matter to oppose an urgent interdict filed by Co-operative governance Minister Des van Rooyen on October 14. However, that fell away on Friday when the minister filed a notice of withdrawal of his bid.

The three political parties will then write to the high court next week seeking to oppose Zuma’s application set to be argued on the November 1. The matter was initially put down for the October 18, but was postponed to allow all parties to file their papers so it could be argued together with the local government minister’s application.

In a late night affidavit served on the political parties’ legal representative, which News24 has seen, the president said he was advised that it’s not permissible for him to participate in the proceedings until such a time as he has been joined as a party.

“I have delivered an answering affidavit to the DA’s application for the intervention,” the president’s papers read.

He comprehensively dealt with basis of his objection to the DA’s application, he says in the papers.

The main opposition party had joined to oppose both Van Rooyen and Zuma’s interdicts.

South Africa -EFF demands release of Madonsela state capture report


2016-10-14 08:54

EFF leader Julius Malema (File)

EFF leader Julius Malema (File)

Thuli Madonsela said her office investigated three specific allegations for the report.

Pretoria – The EFF is approaching the high court to force Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to release her report into “state capture”.

The party wanted to stop the interdicts by both Local Government Minister Des Van Rooyen, due to be heard on Friday morning, and President Jacob Zuma’s application on Tuesday.

The UDM and Cope would join the court action, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said on Friday.

“The EFF is of the view that none of the applications for a court interdict hold water, because the applicant will not suffer irreparable damage as there still exists an option for a judicial review of the findings and remedial actions of the Public Protector,” the party said in a statement.

It said state capture had manifested itself in the criminal charges against Finance Minsiter Pravin Gordhan and EFF leader Julius Malema.

On Thursday, Malema told reporters he had made submissions to the public protector relating to her probe. He did not go into details.

“Zuma saw the dark clouds gathering from March when he received questions. What is so urgent now?” Malema asked at the time.

He said he didn’t believe a court would grant permission to anyone seeking to stop the report from being released.

Madonsela is expected to brief the media at 14:00 on Friday.

South Africa is facing a steady erosion of constitutional principles, says Manuel

BD Live

Trevor Manuel. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Trevor Manuel. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel on Thursday described the fraud charges hanging over Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as “reckless”, especially coming when SA is facing leadership deficiencies that are leading to a “descent in the national conversation” and a move away from constitutional principles.

At the same time, many sections of SA were failing to adequately face up to the question of national identity, with those on either side of the debate being increasingly intolerant, said Manuel in an address to a Business Day-Financial Mail re-launch soiree in Johannesburg.

He said SA was facing a steady erosion of constitutional principles, and “those incapable of understanding this should step aside”.

Amid a dismal year for the South African political economy, the March 31 judgment reaffirming the powers of the Public Protector stood out, Manuel said.

President Jacob Zuma had failed to respect the powers of a Chapter 9 institution, while parliament, in failing to exercise oversight, had continued to fail to reflect on this deficiency, he said.

“We have not yet fully digested the import of the constitutional court judgment finding significant failure in the other two tiers of government,” he said.

“I don’t think we are in a low scale constitutional crisis … when you have one arm of government saying the two other arms have failed, that is a deep crisis,” he said, adding that this extended more generally, such as the roles and responsibilities of state officials, including ministers.

when you have one arm of government saying the two other arms have failed, that is a deep crisis,

Manuel ventured into the controversial statement by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane that cabinet had resolved to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the decision by SA’s big banks to terminate their relationships with Gupta-owned company Oakbay Investments.

However, Zwane’s statement – made in his capacity as chairman of a ministerial task team that looked into the decision by banks to sever ties with the Gupta family – was quickly repudiated by the Presidency, which said it did not reflect the view of the Cabinet.

“If the Minister of Mineral Resources wanted to lead a team to look at the banking sector, that needs be published in the government gazette,” Manuel said. “What we have seen is a flagrant disregard for the constitution,” said Manuel, who also warned against blaming all of SA’s problems on one person.

“I happen to be of the view that many of our problems are far more systemic than a focus on a single individual; the reason why I … am talking about the national conversation,” he said.

Manuel appealed for a reinvigorated “national conversation”, with one of the first questions being “How far have we fallen as a country?”

He said that, although SA was a constitutional democracy, the constitution was only meant to serve as an “incomplete bridge” between SA’s past, and future development.

“The national project is both complex and exceedingly incomplete, and the struggle at the centre is for national identity,” Manuel said. “The fees must fall campaign is one of the starkest reminders of the incompleteness of that bridge. We are not finding each other through these studies … we are witnessing the ongoing razing of institutions of higher learning and intolerance of other views.”

South Africa – state of crisis as budget cuts loom and student protests continue

2016-10-09 06:00

Police attempt to arrest activist Mcebo Dlamini on the Wits campus during this week’s protests. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Police attempt to arrest activist Mcebo Dlamini on the Wits campus during this week’s protests. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

The battle for free university education is headed for a crisis after government revealed plans to announce a draconian mid-term budget, which will include cutting its numbers of civil servants.

Senior government officials told City Press that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget – to be delivered in two weeks – will put the squeeze on salary budgets across departments, as well as those for goods and services.

While students take to the streets for a fourth week, government remains mum on new solutions, and the country’s clergy is calling for President Jacob Zuma to declare a state of crisis.

A senior government official privy to Cabinet matters said:

“There is no money to subsidise free universities. It is already a struggle to find money to fund the special dispensation announced by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande to subsidise all households who earn less than R600 000 annually.”

The official said the continuing drought is placing additional strain on the economy.

“The question is, what would it take for government to yield to the demand for free education? Does it mean we stop social grants or building houses? Something has to give for that to happen.”

The official said it was likely that after the mid-term budget policy statement on October 26, government would start encouraging older civil servants to take early retirement to save money.

The officials also said government’s appetite to negotiate with students was waning because they negotiated in bad faith.

“Both the president and Nzimande have met with students on several occasions, but whatever was agreed on was discarded after the meetings,” the official said.


The police have decided on a strategy of targeting students who have allegedly committed particular crimes, rather than conducting mass arrests that end up with failed prosecutions.

According to senior police sources, some of these arrests have already been effected and some are due to be carried out in the next few days and weeks.

It is understood that some of those due to face the law include the #FeesMustFall leadership.

The arrests relate to incidents of public violence, intimidation, arson and assault.

The officials told City Press that the police decided to move away from a scattered response that involved dispersing protesters and arresting them en masse.

Last year and early this year, the arrest of student protesters ended in prosecutions being dropped because evidence was not properly gathered. Now the approach is to gather enough prosecutable evidence before pouncing on suspects.

The solidity of the evidence will be such that bail will be difficult to access.

Some of the crimes targeted will carry sentences of several years and the authorities believe successful convictions will deter future violent behaviour.

“We must deal with the criminals,” one police official said.

Discussions are also under way around the feasibility of moving lectures and final examinations to venues away from universities, which will be heavily guarded.

This, however, would only be done if the impasse is not resolved in the next week.


General secretary of the SA Council of Churches (SACC), Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, told City Press this week that the SACC wrote to Zuma this week asking him to declare a state of crisis.

The SACC also wants him to form a Cabinet committee that includes parents of students to find a solution to the crisis and avoid protest action beyond Friday to save the academic year.

The presidency confirmed that the SA Union of Students wrote to its office on Thursday requesting a meeting with Zuma. This request is “being considered”.

But Zuma is expected to be out of the country from Tuesday on a trip to Kenya, after which he will travel to India for a Brics meeting.

It is not clear whether Nzimande has scheduled any meetings with students to try to resolve the impasse.

Meanwhile, Gordhan invited South Africans to make suggestions about how to fund university fees in time for his mid-term budget.

“As usual, there is a balancing act that must be struck to give attention to various competing priorities,” Treasury said on Friday.

Treasury said Gordhan particularly wanted public views on funding free tertiary education, as well as how South Africa can achieve inclusive economic growth and use its resources more efficiently.


This week, mediated talks between students and management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) collapsed.

Mediators – including university alumni Tiego Moseneke (brother of university chancellor and former deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke), Economic Freedom Fighters national chairperson Dali Mpofu and Independent Electoral Commission deputy chair Terry Tselane – failed to help both sides find common ground.

Students insist that free education should be provided immediately and that the university should be closed down until this is declared.

The university said it could not commit to the latter as most students wanted to complete the academic year.

A number of lecturers at Wits said they would not teach tomorrow – both in protest of the “militarisation” of the campus and in solidarity with protesting students.

A Wits insider said the institution battled to communicate with police deployed there this week when they launched stun grenades at students and observers who were marching peacefully, leading to a morning of running battles with police.

“Previously, the vice-chancellor [Adam Habib] was able to ask that police leave when he deemed their presence unnecessary, but on Tuesday, they would not comply,” the insider said.

Habib was not available for comment yesterday.

Police spokesperson Mashadi Selepe said the police needed no invitation to be on premises where “criminal activity or violence is taking place or lives and/or property is under threat”.

Selepe declined to comment on command and control on campuses, saying:

“The department will not peddle command and control issues through the media. Commanders on all levels within the department are well-equipped and competent to exercise command and control within the confines of their mandate.”

University of Cape Town (UCT) spokesperson Elijah Moholola said police were “called on to UCT campuses only on the explicit request of the vice-chancellor or acting vice-chancellor”.

UCT vice-chancellor Max Price was unavailable for comment on police deployments.

Wits student leader Mcebo Dlamini, who was involved in a violent confrontation with police, told City Press that students were undeterred.

“There is no fear because there is no brutality above what we have already [endured], so we are going to continue because what is driving us is the determination and commitment to achieve the cause of free, decolonised education for all,” he said.

He added that students planned to march on either Treasury, the Union Buildings or both this week to demand free education and deliver their model on how it could be achieved.

Universities and the department of higher education had hoped a temporary shutdown would discourage students and that fatigue would set in, but students say they can’t “allow the moment to pass”.

“We are close, so we cannot turn back now. If it does not happen now, it will never happen. We also want to be in class, but we also know that if we back down, this will be an annual event and we will be divided as students,” said a student leader.


Informal discussions are also under way to take the call for free education to the Constitutional Court. Mpofu said students made compelling arguments that could be presented to the court.

“There are a number of arguments to be made around inequality brought about by things such as Bantu education and that government must prioritise the question of education to redress imbalances of the past,” Mpofu said.

“We could use the past imbalances to anchor the argument and use the equality clause as a springboard, coupled with section 29. We would also have to consider whether we head to the high court first or directly to the Constitutional Court. Those are just some of the considerations.”

Questions to Nzimande regarding new plans to deal with the crisis were directed to Harold Maloka, deputy CEO of the Government Communication and Information System, who said government’s only comment was that stakeholders should continue with engagements.

South Africa – Max du Preez on post-Zuma country


2016-09-20 07:30

Max du Preez

There is no guarantee that South Africa will be in a healthier state this time next year, but one thing is certain: the breathtaking pace of the political fraying and unscrambling we’re experiencing right now will result in a totally different political environment by then.

We ordinary citizens are like spectators at a ferocious ping pong match, our eyes darting from left to right. Who’s playing? Who’s winning? Who’s cheating? What’s the score? What’s at stake?

If I have to put lipstick on the pig, I would say that at least the situation isn’t static; at least we’re not stuck in a rut like some other societies in distress. And I would add that there has never been such a broad, popular surge against corruption in South Africa.

The great unravelling started to pick up pace after the results of the local elections in August.

The ANC’s support declined, they lost control of three big metros and the two main opposition parties grew.

There was consensus that Zuma was mostly to blame, and this weakened his position considerably, even more than after the Constitutional Court found that he had violated the Constitution.

Jumping ship

Zuma’s behaviour, like his parading as a victim in Parliament last week, showed that he knew this.

His opponents suddenly became much bolder and his supporters much more on the defensive.

Some Zuma sycophants, like former chief whip Mathole Motshekga, started jumping ship. The SACP and several Cosatu unions openly switched their loyalty to Cyril Ramaphosa.

Virtually every ANC veteran worth his/her salt publicly demanded that Zuma stood down.

South Africans of all colours and persuasions expressed themselves loudly against the Zuma cabal’s dangerous war against finance minister Pravin Gordhan and the national treasury. #HandsOffPravin was trending on Twitter.

Just about the only positive political excitement since August was the promise that the new DA mayors of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay would start governing differently and efficiently, and quickly eradicating corruption and wastage.

Zuma the Survivor’s strategy that had worked for so many years was in tatters. He couldn’t reinvent himself, because he has to rely on the rotten half of the ANC: the corrupt, the rent seekers, the tenderpreneurs and the rural barons.

These elements know very well that without Zuma in power, they face certain political and financial ruin. And they haven’t finished eating.

As fate would have it, other strands also started coming together recently that further weakened Zuma.

Several of his strategically placed lieutenants on whom his survival depends, came under extreme pressure or were swept aside. The dominoes started falling, thanks mostly to a new wave of whistleblowers, the media and to our independent and functioning judiciary.

Tom Moyane, Zuma’s man at SARS, was caught putting pressure on the Hawks to prosecute Gordhan and his former colleagues on highly dubious charges, but ignoring, for many months, the suspected corruption of his own sidekick, Jonas Makwakwa.

The real Tom Moyane was exposed. He will never regain credibility.

Zuma’s trusted pawns at the national prosecuting authority (NPA) that had walked through fire for him and his friends several times, Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mwrebi, were struck off the roll of advocates and can thus not continue at the NPA.

Their boss, Shaun Abrahams, will have to be extremely careful in future or he will walk the same path.

Damage inflicted on our society

Three of the Zuma cabal’s primary victims, Johann van Loggerenberg and Adrian Lackay of SARS and general Johan Booysen of the Hawks, last week exposed, in stunning and convincing detail, the unbelievable corruption and abuse of power in two dynamite books: Rogue – The Inside Story of SARS’s Elite Crime-busting Unit, and Blood On Their Hands – General Johan Booysen Reveals his Truth, written by Jessica Pitchford.

These books can’t be unwritten. They will stand as a serious indictment of what Zuma and his cabal stood for and the serious damage they inflicted on our society.

Only yesterday another Zuma imbongi, the SABC’s Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was refused the right to appeal a damning court finding against him. He will probably play for time and appeal, as they all do, but his goose is cooked.

The credit rating group Moody’s arrived in the country yesterday and the other two agencies are arriving in the next few weeks.

A (likely) downgrade to junk status will be very bad news for our struggling economy and many will blame Zuma’s abuse of state-owned companies and war of attrition against the treasury for this.

Now we wait for the courts to finally order that Zuma be formally charged on 783 counts of corruption, racketeering and fraud.

Perhaps that would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

Can we then start imagining a post-Zuma South Africa? Please?

– Follow Max on Twitter.

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