Huffington Post (SA)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Warned The ANC About State Captur.

The struggle icon says her ANC is not recognisable in the current leadership of the ruling party, which is “haemorrhaging” and “in trouble”.

07/06/2017 10:28 SAST | Updated 2 hours ago

Former anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela says she doesn’t recognise the African National Congress (ANC) anymore.

In an exclusive interview with HuffPost SA, Madikizela-Mandela said that corruption in the ruling party is not part of the ANC she fought for during the the anti-apartheid struggle.

“The ANC of our forebears has disappeared,” she said. “Every day you open a newspaper, there are stories about this corruption, capture of the state, the ANC is also captured … This is the news we read today about my ANC.”

Madikizela-Mandela (80) says the ANC has “serious problems”.

“Not even a fool can pretend that we don’t have problems,” she said. “We have very, very serious problems. The ANC is haemorrhaging. We are in trouble.”

Madikizela-Mandela said she took the current corruption allegations against the party personally. “Hopefully, after bleeding and haemorrhaging as it does, somewhere we are going to find an antidote,” she said. “We’ll bring it back to its former glory.”

Madikizela-Mandela said she told the party’s leadership at the Codesa negotiating table in the 1990s that things were going awry, adding that these problems were to be expected. “There are human beings who are doing [this] to the ANC,” she said. “This is what happens to revolutionary movements … and I warned about that 23 years ago.”

Perhaps emboldened in a new documentary on her life that is more sympathetic to her character than previous stories about her choices, Madikizela-Mandela said she imagined an ANC and South Africa that was led by Chris Hani. Hani, who had a more social political ideological leaning than other leaders of the ANC, was assassinated in 1993.

“Tragically, I think we will be lucky if we ever get to the bottom of it. Chris Hani was not assassinated by the right wing. There were more sinister forces than Janusz [Waluś],” she told HuffPost SA.

As part of a radical block within the ruling party, she was forced to work as a soldier on the ground in Soweto during her ex-husband Nelson Mandela’s incarceration. Because of her unparalleled popularity with the public, she was banished from her marital home and pushed to the sidelines by the apartheid government.

But Madikizela-Mandela ended off with a message of hope to South Africans.

“We are aware of the grave challenges today,” she said.

“I wish [to give South Africans] a message of encouragement, and tell them that not all is lost in the African National Congress. We are hoping, us remnants left of the original African National Congress, that we will be able to restore it to its dignity, to its former glory.”


Mail and Guardian

State capture probe is a JZ delay tactic

No go: A commission of enquiry into state capture will take years to complete, while tax-funded governance institutions such as the NPA, headed by Shaun Abrahams (above), show no will to act. (Oupa Nkosi)
No go: A commission of enquiry into state capture will take years to complete, while tax-funded governance institutions such as the NPA, headed by Shaun Abrahams (above), show no will to act. (Oupa Nkosi)

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC have suddenly become keen on the appointment of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. Initially, there appeared to be furious resistance to the recommendations of then public protector Thuli Madonsela to this effect. A deluge of further allegations has clearly forced the hand of the ruling party, save for the legitimate objection that it is a presidential prerogative to appoint a judge to head the commission.

Of course, the ANC’s concession comes with a qualification: a commission must investigate all forms of possible state capture since 1994. The scope of this proposed inquiry going back more than 20 years will take years to complete. Recall how long the Marikana inquiry took under the leadership of a most experienced judge who was asked to examine a finite set of events.

The act of appointing a commission is an act of decommissioning, in that, once appointed, the commission will suspend the debate about state capture for a few years, at best. It is a classic case of Zuma kicking for touch, thereby ensuring that the political ball will be out of play for sufficient time to ensure the appointment of a suitable presidential successor.

The state capture allegations obviously call for urgent criminal investigation followed by the possibility of criminal trials. Consider the evidence already in the public domain.

The public protector produced a report in the last days of her term of office, presumably fearing that her successor would not be willing to continue the probe, which would have justified more serious remedial action than the appointment of a commission of inquiry.

Subsequently, former Cabinet minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi claimed that, as a result of his refusal to kowtow to Eskom’s pressure to favour the coal deal with the Guptas’ Optimum company, he was fired as minister of mineral resources in favour of Mosebenzi Zwane. Shortly thereafter the South African Council of Churches released a report documenting activity involving Cabinet ministers, officials of state-owned enterprises and the Gupta family, suggesting wide-scale “looting of state resources”.

A group of researchers working through the Public Affairs Research Institute then joined the dots in a report entitled Betrayal of the Promise, which painted a picture of a sophisticated takeover of the state by the Guptas and the president and his cohorts. The ink was barely dry on this report when the City Press and the Sunday Times published a string of emails that corroborated these earlier allegations — and then the nation learnt that there were more than 100 000 emails, which would be released gradually, doubtless showing further nefarious activity.

In the kind of democracy that was envisaged when the Constitution was approved, institutions created therein and pursuant to further legislation would have already performed their legal duties. To be absolutely clear: an anti-corruption unit worthy of the name would have demanded all this evidence, including the published emails, and instituted a full-scale investigation with a view to bringing charges without fear or favour.

If these emails are shown to be authentic, and to date there is no denial that they are, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has more than enough evidence to bring charges against a host of people on grounds, inter alia, of bribery and corruption.

If the NPA showed 10% of the enthusiasm it exhibited when it sought to charge then finance minister Pravin Gordhan on a charge sheet based on a manifest disregard for basic legal principles, we would at the very least have been reading lengthy charge sheets against those who consistently appear in this mountain of allegations, most of which have been in the public domain for more than a year.

And what about the former public protector? Could it seriously be argued that, if Madonsela were still in office, her office would not have conducted a further investigation into sustained allegations that go to the heart of the governance of South Africa?

There has been no reaction from any of these institutions, which are so central to the preservation and promotion of the core constitutional values of transparency and accountability. In itself this serves to confirm the allegation that these institutions no longer perform as intended and have themselves been captured. The consequences are dire: given that there are many thousands of emails yet to be disclosed, the governance of the country will stagger from crisis to crisis as the institutions tasked with solving the problem say, in effect: “Frankly, we don’t give a damn!”

To return to the president’s new enthusiasm for a commission of inquiry, South Africa should say no, thank you. We do not want to wait three more years before we find out whether the country was put up for sale. There are at least three institutions paid for by the taxpayer to ensure that corruption and bribery are investigated and, if necessary, properly prosecuted, and relevant additional remedial action taken.

The call should be to the NPA, the Hawks and the public protector to do their mandated jobs expeditiously. That is the way a democracy deals with this level of allegation in matters that go to the heart of government.

Serjeant at the Bar

Serjeant at the Bar

Serjeant at the Bar is a senior legal practitioner with a special interest in constitutional law.