Have ‘cham­pi­ons of the poor’ been caught red-handed?

Saturday Star - - OPINION -

THERE’S an age-old say­ing that if you live in glass houses, you shouldn’t throw stones. This week, the EFF, South Africa’s feisty sec­ond op­po­si­tion party, found that out – with in­ter­est.

The red over­all-wear­ing, red bereted cham­pi­ons of the poor were fin­gered front and cen­tre in the South African Re­serve Bank (SARB) re­port into the shame­less plun­der of VBS, the osten­si­bly black-owned bank that the SARB had been ac­cused – by the EFF – of un­fairly tar­get­ing.

All the tired, tawdry and toxic race cards were played at the time. The in­vec­tive was pub­lic; it was fran­ti­cally vi­cious.

No one re­ally un­der­stood the un­der­ly­ing an­i­mus of some­one no less than EFF deputy pres­i­dent Floyd Shivambu’s shame­ful racist at­tacks on Trea­sury deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral Is­mail Momo­niat.

It was an ap­palling and un­jus­ti­fied at­tack on a very fine pub­lic ser­vant.

This week it all be­came crys­tal clear when Shivambu’s brother Brian, him­self a se­nior EFF of­fice bearer, was said to have ben­e­fited to the tune of R16 mil­lion from what ad­vo­cate Terry Mo­tau, SC, termed the Great Bank Heist – the in­dus­trial grade loot­ing of R2 bil­lion to 53 po­lit­i­cally con­nected in­di­vid­u­als.

But that’s not all: early re­ports sug­gest that the money was fun­nelled to Shivambu him­self.

A can of worms has been opened, with more scan­dals lurk­ing in the wings.

The “smal­l­anyana” skeletons, coined by Batha­bile Dlamini in per­haps her only mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion to our pol­i­tics, are now be­ing exposed to the harsh light of day and the EFF, the self­pro­claimed de­fend­ers of the poor, have been silent.

Yet only hours be­fore they had been the loud­est mob rid­ing former fi­nance min­is­ter Nhlanhla Nene out of town.

The hypocrisy has been as blind­ing as it has been nau­se­at­ing.

Let the guilty – all of them – be exposed, pros­e­cuted – and jailed with­out fear, favour or prej­u­dice.

There must be no mercy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.