Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Undermining South Africa’s Sovereignty
December 28, 2015
Features, Opinion & Analysis
Udo W. Froese Correspondent
Zimbabwe Herald

“Corrupt”, “Dishonest”, “Zuma must fall”, “Airbus deadline behind Zuma’s axing of Nene”, “Sacking (of ex-finance minister Nhlanhla Nene) triggers closer scrutiny of SA”, and “How Rand/Dollar Has Slumped” … those are just some of the recent daily headlines on South Africa’s corporate media cartels’ front pages. The news bulletins and talk shows of the mainly private-owned electronic media joined the print media in their condemning of President Zuma.

The recent so-called #ZumaMustFall march was led by mainly white, middle class, bringing their smattering of black middle class along, who sang the old Southern African slave song, “Shosholoza”, protesting against the country’s black president and the black ruling party, the African National Congress, insisting, that President Zuma and his ANC are corrupt.

One of the participants said on camera that national reconciliation is not part of their agenda.

Blatant racism prevails in post-apartheid South Africa.

The Western-foreign ratings agencies, Standard & Poor (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch joined the choir, singing the same hymn.

S&P’s vague approach is that of “wait and see”.

Moody’s announced it would “closely monitor developments” and Fitch’s ratings claimed Nhlanhla Nene’s sacking brought more “negative than positive questions for SA”.

The national daily, Business Day wrote: “Ratings agencies made it clear that any deviation from the current path of fiscal consolidation and prudent spending by any new finance minister (at that time Desmond van Rooyen) would cost South Africa dearly.”

This is a serious threat.

According to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the sudden axing of former minister of finance, Nene, and the appointment of an unknown Member of Parliament, Van Rooyen, caused a market loss of R169 billion within two days of Van Rooyen’s appointment.

“South Africa’s life savings would be hit hard,” the JSE warned.

Meanwhile, the Rand currency value hit low levels of ZAR16: US$1.

Is this done to determine the next ANC and country president?

Does South Africa’s BRICS membership play a role?

Will eventually all sovereign currencies make way for a global plastic-card-currency, to avoid the value of gold, backing those currencies?

The situation was, however, corrected when president Zuma listened to his leadership and dropped the unknown MP to replace him immediately with the seasoned former minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan.

ANC leadership approached Zuma shortly after the change of finance ministers to inform him, that move was not acceptable to the market, to the country, to the people and the ruling ANC, whose leadership might be forced to step down, if not corrected immediately.

President Zuma accepted the concern, dropped Van Rooyen as finance minister and installed Pravin Gordhan. The broad church of the ANC proved its respect for the electorate as well as the democratic values again. As was the case with recalled former president Thabo Mbeki, even an incumbent could be called to book.

“Finance minister Gordhan will answer to the senior collective in the state and government line ministries, which president Zuma heads. He will, however, not be the only one briefed on decisions,” senior ANC NEC and NWC members told this writer under condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, it is understood that AU Commission head, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, would be in line to become the next ANC and country president. She has huge support across the board. Her deputy could possibly be the former SACP- and Cosatu Secretary General, now ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe.

Mantashe seems to be known within the ANC as well as in senior ANC NEC circles and ANC Headquarters, Luthuli House in Johannesburg’s Central Business District, to be campaigning and lobbying against President Jacob Zuma. Mantashe’s ambition is to become ANC and SA deputy president.

Foreign and local big business as well as influential members of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) put their money on businessman-cum-politician, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. He is the business connection and wields great influence in the mobile phone industry, the mining industry, and the banking and financial industries.

Ramaphosa seems their choice to be the next ANC and country president. Deputy president Ramaphosa, like the minister in South Africa’s presidency, Jeff Radebe, is married to one of the Motsepe sisters, Tshepo. Jeff Radebe is married to Bridgette Motsepe. They are sisters of the “businessman”, Hlopane (aka Patrice, as his public name) Motsepe.

The Motsepe family was introduced to the ANC by Bantustan-Bophuthatswana president Lucas Mangope, who took his guidance from apartheid-foreign affairs minister, Pik Botha. Hlopane Motsepe has serious ambitions to become the ANC’s next Treasurer General (TG) in 2017 and ANC president in 2022.

Howev r, chances are minuscule, as no one knows Motsepe. Unknown mining industry— and media darling, Hlopane Motsepe, simply has no following.

It could even be that by the end of next year in 2016, that the minister in the presidency, Jeff Radebe, could possibly lose his position. If this were to happen, it would certainly spell the end of the political career of Cyril Ramaphosa. Meanwhile, would the current collusion of political opposition, mischievous armchair academia, the corporate media cartels and a dysfunctional civil society be able to unseat president Zuma?

Will it be able to force anarchy, an “Arab Spring”, followed by a “regime change” with much covert funding?

Senior ANC NEC and NWC members explain, “President Jacob Zuma would see the end of his second term. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma would most likely become South Africa’s next president. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe’s political future in the ANC is not certain yet. Mantashe’s over-zealous ambitions to become the next deputy president and his strong opposition to president Zuma could be a stumbling block.”

As far as South Africa’s Rand currency devaluation is concerned, it is part of the onslaught on the ANC. Next year in 2016 South Africa will have local government elections. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is hell-bent to add the industrious province of Gauteng to its stable.

If there is any truth in that the DA has received ZAR1 billion from a host of big businesses, including the JSE for next year’s election campaign, the battle lines are drawn between capital and indigenous black African majority.

Will South Africa see a capitalist and bendable democracy, based on colonial-apartheid’s structured poverty, or will the ruling ANC be able to fend off such undermining?

Udo Froese is an independent writer and political analyst. He wrote this piece exclusively for The Herald.

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