Zuma has be­trayed us – Blade

SACP calls on state not to do busi­ness with Gup­tas Pres­i­dent may not ad­dress con­gress, Cyril wel­come

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BALDWIN ND­ABA

THE fall­out over Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s lead­er­ship of the coun­try and the ANC deep­ened yes­ter­day when the SACP used its con­fer­ence to ac­cuse him of be­trayal.

SACP gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande re­vealed that some of his com­rades who he worked with to re­move Thabo Mbeki as ANC pres­i­dent in 2007 had one mo­tive in mind: to loot the pub­lic purse.

“We feel be­trayed. Per­son­ally, I feel be­trayed,” Nz­i­mande said. “Our trust has been bro­ken.”

Nz­i­mande’s con­fes­sion, which comes about 10 years later, de­tailed how the plot to oust Mbeki was not en­tirely driven by gen­uine prin­ci­ples.

In one of the blis­ter­ing at­tacks on Zuma, Nz­i­mande said his co-plot­ters had orig­i­nally agreed to re­move Mbeki be­cause he al­legedly wanted to cen­tralise the con­trol of the ANC within his of­fice and not within the ANC and its al­liance partners.

So be­trayed was the party by Zuma that they had writ­ten a let­ter to the ANC ask­ing them not to de­ploy him to the SACP’s con­gress, cur­rently un­der way in Boks­burg. Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa was ex­pected to ad­dress the con­gress to­day, in what could raise the heat in the bat­tle for the soul of the ANC in the run-up to its elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

Nz­i­mande, for­mer Cosatu boss Zwelinz­ima Vavi and for­mer ANC Youth League pres­i­dent Julius Malema were cen­tral in cat­a­pult­ing Zuma to the Union Build­ings af­ter the ANC’s chaotic Polok­wane con­fer­ence in 2007.

Malema and Vavi have al­ready apol­o­gised for their role in help­ing Zuma’s rise to power.

Yes­ter­day, it was Nz­i­mande’s turn to re­flect on his part in help­ing Zuma and the party’s vo­cif­er­ous defence of the pres­i­dent un­til the fall­out.

The schism be­tween Nz­i­mande and Zuma has led to ru­mours on oc­ca­sions that the pres­i­dent would use a cabi­net reshuffle to oust the com­mu­nists – one of the is­sues that hard­ened the party against Zuma.

Nz­i­mande, de­liv­er­ing a po­lit­i­cal re­port, warned that the ANC would not re­ceive more than 50% of the na­tional votes in 2019 if it did not get its house in or­der.

Nz­i­mande ac­knowl­edged that Zuma’s as­cen­dancy was as a re­sult of a mar­riage of con­ve­nience on the part of those who sup­ported him, with some want­ing to loot the state.

“How­ever, in prac­tice the Polok­wane mo­ment in­volved a mar­riage of con­ve­nience (or, per­haps, an unholy al­liance) of the broad Left, anti-ne­olib­eral bloc with dem­a­gogic forces for whom the as­ser­tion of the ANC as the strate­gic po­lit­i­cal cen­tre was a move to dis­place the in­cum­bents in the state with their own to ad­vance an even more ag­gres­sive par­a­sitic, rent-seek­ing agenda,” Nz­i­mande said.

Nz­i­mande sin­gled out Malema but stopped short of men­tion­ing Zuma, who later re­placed Mbeki as ANC pres­i­dent af­ter the elec­tive con­fer­ence in Polok­wane.

Even prior to the con­fer­ence, this group, with an al­leged “ag­gres­sive, par­a­sitic, rent-seek­ing agenda”, ap­par­ently com­posed a song claim­ing that Mbeki may have been linked to the death of SACP stal­wart Chris Hani in April 1993 – a song which con­trib­uted to a split within the ranks of the ANC and the for­ma­tion of Cope un­der Mb­haz­ima Shilowa and Mo­siuoa Lekota.

Yes­ter­day, Nz­i­mande con­ceded that some of his co-plot­ters had “iden­ti­fied pa­tron­age-based mo­bil­i­sa­tion within the ANC as the soft un­der­belly from which to cap­ture strate­gic po­si­tions within the state to ad­vance their par­a­sitic agenda”.

Mbeki, how­ever, was also not spared. Nz­i­mande said some of the ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture van­ity projects, such as the con­struc­tion of the 2010 sta­di­ums, Gaut­eng Free­way Im­prove­ment Project, King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Dube Trade Port, as well as the Gau­train, did not bring much im­prove­ment to the lives of peo­ple in the coun­try.

Nz­i­mande did not ac­cuse Mbeki of any com­plicit act in those in­fra­struc­ture projects but di­rectly ac­cused Zuma of acts of im­pro­pri­ety, es­pe­cially the al­leged cap­ture of state owned-en­ti­ties af­ter he took over from Mbeki.

“If op­po­si­tion to Mbeki at the 2007 Polok­wane con­fer­ence was cen­tred on the strug­gle against over-cen­tral­i­sa­tion within the Pres­i­dency, we are clearly now in a much worse sit­u­a­tion.

“Im­pe­ri­al­ist con­spir­a­cies and regime-change threats are in­voked in or­der to jus­tify this dan­ger­ous drift – as if the ac­cusers were not them­selves in­volved in a ‘silent coup’ against a demo­crat­i­cally elected govern­ment, and as if they were not ac­tively be­tray­ing South Africa’s demo­cratic na­tional sovereignty,” Nz­i­mande said.

We feel be­trayed. I per­son­ally feel be­trayed. Our trust was bro­ken

Nz­i­mande said the first few years of Zuma in of­fice looked promis­ing, as the govern­ment in­creased its fight against HIV/Aids.

But then the Zuma administration pounced on state-owned com­pa­nies such as Eskom and Transnet for their own ben­e­fit.

“The mas­sive over­spend­ing at Zuma’s Nkandla home­stead sym­bol­ised both the con­tin­u­a­tion as well as the per­son­al­i­sa­tion of the van­ity project phe­nom­e­non,” he said.

Nz­i­mande said the sit­u­a­tion be­came worse in 2014 when state cap­ture be­came preva­lent in the govern­ment, with the Gupta fam­ily and Zuma’s son Duduzane im­pli­cated.

“SOEs have been cap­tured not to pri­va­tise them, as was the case dur­ing Mbeki’s time, but to milk them and direct their bil­lions of rand of pro­cure­ment into pri­vate cor­po­rate and even in­di­vid­ual pock­ets,” Nz­i­mande ar­gued.

He added that in “an or­di­nary coun­try”, al­le­ga­tions con­tained in the leaked Gupta emails would have al­ready led to ar­rests.

The govern­ment had to stop do­ing busi­ness with the Gup­tas and as­so­ci­ated com­pa­nies, Nz­i­mande said, say­ing some of the money be­ing made would be used at the ANC elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

“Some of the cur­rent par­a­sitism is di­rected at build­ing war chests to sub­vert the ANC’s De­cem­ber 2017 na­tional con­fer­ence. The con­tin­ued as­so­ci­a­tion with and defence of the Gup­tas, and the at­tempt to pro­long the Cash Pay­mas­ter Ser­vices so­cial grant con­tract, are, in part, an as­pect of the war-chest agenda,” Nz­i­mande said.

He said Zuma used law en­force­ment agen­cies such as the State Se­cu­rity Agency, Hawks and Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity against the Trea­sury and had de­ployed peo­ple in those of­fices to serve his own in­ter­ests.

ANC deputy sec­re­tary­gen­eral Jessie Duarte wel­comed Nz­i­mande’s po­lit­i­cal re­port and said it would help to find so­lu­tions to some of the prob­lems iden­ti­fied within the ANC.

“The se­cret of the SACP’s po­lit­i­cal re­port lies in tak­ing us for­ward,” Duarte said.

PIC­TURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH

SCATHING: SACP gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande launched a blis­ter­ing at­tack on Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, ac­cus­ing him of be­trayal, at the open­ing of his party’s na­tional con­fer­ence in Boks­burg yes­ter­day.

HELP­FUL: Jessie Duarte

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