South Africa’s Current Situation Is A Power Game

South Africa’s current situation in 2016 had been planned some fifty-two years ago by a think-tank, the “Bogenhagen Report” of 1964. The Bantustans/Homelands would become provinces in a country, governed by the African majority through a rural political party in the form of the African National Congress (ANC).

An urban political party by design could govern South Africa as from 2019. This too is reflected in that “Bogenhagen Report”.

Today in 2016 it seems that the struggle inside the ANC is among those, who want the old status quo of grand apartheid’s “National Party” back and those, who capitulate into a rural political party.

Considering the outcome of the last Local Government elections, the above-mentioned strategies could make sense. In other words, the Democratic Alliance (DA)-Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would govern the Western Cape Province; Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province; Bloemfontein in the Free State Province; the capital Pretoria and the economic and financial hub, Johannesburg both, in the Gauteng Province.

Would the new urban political party be the DA-EFF and the rural political party the ANC?

In this process, the owners of the economy, also known as captains-of-industry and architects-of-apartheid with their hitmen and chequebooks in the shadows, seem to test the waters on how to overthrow the president. Foreign interests, who reduced the Ukraine to civil war and regime change, would not work in BRICS member, South Africa. This country has an elected head-of-state and commander-in-chief.

Brazil, also a BRICS member, had to deal with its coup d’état. Ousted president Dilma Rousseff faced a legally acceptable coup plot. The highly unpopular vice president, Michel Temer, replaced her. Temer has hardly any following and is viewed as corrupt.

Meanwhile, the same power mongers and their minions in their think tanks hawkishly observe the situation in South Africa developing. It would certainly not work to impeach president Jacob Zuma, as he and his ruling party, the ANC, retain the backing of the country’s majority. But, a collusion of many forces seems to work, similar to that used to topple president Dilma Rousseff and reduce the Ukraine to outright “civil war”. The forces seem to be the same.

The DA’s take-over of the Western Cape should be thoroughly studied. The former apartheid National Party, merely wearing a different coat this time around, consolidated the Western Cape, having done an analysis of the vulnerabilities of that province and then focused on them. The DA was indeed successful.

Not putting up an efficient and effective intelligence, the ANC has contributed to its major losses of Port Elizabeth, Pretoria (Tshwane) and Johannesburg in the last Local Government’s elections.

South Africa’s corporate mainstream media cartels bombard public opinion daily with Afropessimistic, anti-ANC horror stories. It is latently racist. In fact, their efforts could be described as “brainwashing of public opinion”. The old apartheid Strategic Communications (StratCom) media reports to deceive public opinion, seems alive and at work. The strategy of 70% fact and 30% fiction blended and emotively presented makes for effective media-propaganda. Eventually, the victims of the lie become its biggest protector.

In the up-coming preparations for the next party- and country president, the corporates and multi-nationals, their hitmen and their chequebooks collude to break the ANC up into polarized and tribal camps. They are working hard at securing their dispensation. Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is their man. Much money is thrown at their power-game. That could be the reason for Ramaphosa defending Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Certain senior and experienced members of the ANC and its National Executive Committee (NEC) spoke to this writer under the condition of anonymity, expressed their concern and frustration, when they explained, “The ANC has bought into this new strategy. It’s not the movement we know anymore.”

The above-mentioned also pointed out, “In this power game senior members of the ruling party quietly worked with the opposition. They are all well known to the ANC. Their day will come when they’ll be named and shamed. They cannot be part of the ANC’s history.”

Daily media reports reflect countrywide student revolts and previously, also service delivery protests. President Jacob Zuma declared those unrests as democratic, as long as they are registered, legal and do not do damage to any property and, or persons. If however, property and, or persons are attacked and arson is committed, the culprits would be arrested.

If South Africa’s Police Services (SAPS) would allow student revolts and service delivery rebellions to get out of hand, the police would be viewed as staging a putsch against the state. If police services would be allowed to oversee revolts and rebellions, for that matter any form of anarchy, it would be self-destructive.

For the ANC to consolidate and protect itself against its enemies and to move forward, the movement would benefit from the following strategies.

  • The ANC needs to roll out a massive national debate to address all problems and obstacles. Branches, gatherings, meetings, conferences, newly re-established street committees, Afro-friendly media and other such platforms could be made available to address shortcomings and weaknesses.
  • A think tank could be established to work along the lines of a research institute or, a foundation. It would be tasked to do all research, work in a focused way with the movement throughout the country. That way, history could be put into perspective.
  • The ANC could further bring its newspapers such as SECHABA back to the national market, linking it to above network, progressive institutes, the BRICS structures, if and where possible.

In addition to above, it is important that the “blind trusts”, that are held by judges and politicians, will be outlawed and abolished as soon as possible. The electorate needs to know those “blind trusts”, as they seem a cesspool of corruption and power mongering through corporate influence. It is the cancer that could destroy the ANC. Parliament needs to pass laws to protect against such invasions; otherwise the chequebooks rule and the voters have no say. That is unfair and unsettling.

The rightwing, or neo-con economic strategies, such as the arms deal, the “Reconstruction and Development Programme”, also known as RDP under the late former president Nelson Mandela. The “Growth, Employment and Redistribution” (GEAR) programme followed. It was a macro-economic strategy under recalled, former president Thabo Mbeki.

None of them worked, least of all in favour for South Africans. Finally, they were done away with. The current programme, “National Development Plan” (NDP 2030) under the incumbent, Jacob Zuma, replaced the previous attempts. Will it work, given the history of the previous programmes? It does not seem like it. There are too many corporate interests with hidden agendas at play to control the ANC and its government.

South Africa’s flawed judiciary needs serious attention too. The biggest evil that grew from the CODESA negotiations in 1994 was the secret “Sunset Clauses”, protecting covert local and foreign structures. Those have greatly influenced the judiciary through a host of corporate cabalists, their lobbies, think tanks and societies and their joint secret trusts. If no changes will be undertaken, the unelected judiciary will keep pushing to take over power from government. It would be anti-democratic, undermining the nation.

Finally, the progressive forces need take charge for all to see and follow. How to take charge needs to be debated nationally as soon as possible. The ANC leadership needs to take the nation along, constantly informing and preparing it for any further efforts of destabilisation and sabotage.


A Pattern-Analysis Of South Africa’s Real Political Power Scam (Part 2.)

South Africa’s forthcoming elections in May this year will be a mere earth-tremor in its preparations for the earthquake of the real political power strategies and struggles leading up to the elections in 2019. After the May elections this year, new political party alliances will be formed. The goal is South Africa’s complete political transformation with new alliances taking over. Following is an unscientific, however, strategic pattern analysis.

Since 1999, former Bantustan Transkei military dictator, General Bantu Holomisa, has been preaching the formation of an opposition alliance to challenge the ruling ANC.

When the breakaway political party, the ‘Congress of the People’ (COPE) split into two after the fallout between COPE’s leaders, Mosiuoa Terror Lekota and Mbazima Sam Shilowa, the new breakaway joined General Holomisa’s United Democratic Movement (UDM).

Having been in good contact with the ‘Economic Freedom Front (EFF)’ and the ‘Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)’ from their onset, the former Transkei general stated shortly after the COPE breakaway had joined his UDM, “This is just the first manifestation of a black dominated coalition.” Holomisa added in his ‘Sunday Independent’ newspaper interview, “Our people (South African electorate) are bitter. That’s why I say this election can be the beginning of real change in South Africa. It will come slowly. But, it is coming.”

Dr. Corne Mulder from the miniscule Freedom Front Plus (FF+) shares Holomisa’s plan to unite al minority groups and their political representations. Mulder emphasised such during the launch of his party’s manifesto.

Under South Africa’s late former president Nelson Mandela and his ANC-led government, Holomisa served as a deputy minister of tourism. Soon he fell out with the ruling African National Congress (ANC). He then formed a new political party with former colonial-apartheid minister of defence, Roelf Meyer. Meyer had served to the end of the white apartheid era as minister of defence under his former colonial-apartheid president and one of the secret Boer brotherhood (Afrikaaner Broederbond, AB) senior members, F.W. de Klerk. But, Meyer soon opted out of his UDM with Holomisa.

Is general Bantu Holomisa the dark horse in the forthcoming elections? When will a new alliance between his UDM and COPE-2, AMCU, possibly a breakaway from NUMSA, Agang SA and a host of political parties on the fringe be formed? He talks of a “forced coalition”.

Like Holomisa, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (NUMSA) secretary general, Irvine Jim, also hails from the Eastern Cape.

A host of small political parties on the fringe would join the new alliance Holomisa lobbies towards. He hopes to win 5% to 6% of the national vote.

Agang SA’s Mamphela Ramphele has no hope at all to lead any political party, not to mention, becoming president of the country. She is just too erudite with no foot on the ground. She is accused of being unable to complete anything she touches.

As Mamphela Ramphele shares the same donors with the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Helen Zille, she would serve her masters better in the Holomisa camp. Though the DA has similar plans for 2019, they differ. The fallout between Ramphele and Zille seemed to be part of a strategy, yet to unfold.

The difference between Holomisa and Ramphele is quite obvious. Despite having been a former Bantustan military dictator, Holomisa remains hands-on and therefore, relevant to local politics. He is respected in the Eastern Cape and has earned his stars. Unlike elitist Ramphele, boots-on-the-ground Holomisa is not just an airy-fairy token for the many well-heeled international Western interest groups.

In fact, Holomisa is by far the strongest and most credible of all political leaders in the opposition. All other opposition leaders are lightweight in comparison. If the ANC could rake him back into its fold, the thunder of a breakaway to the left from the ruling party by 2019 would be thwarted. The centre of the ANC would hold then. 

The DA would to go it alone until 2019. It would continue with its strategic overt and covert efforts to weaken the ruling ANC. By its own admission, the DA plans to take over the Union Buildings in Pretoria. However, it seems that the DA has realised that it might not quite make it on its own. Therefore, the new DA strategy seems to attempt a coalition agreement with the ANC by 2019, after the ruling party has been severely undermined and weakened.

A long serving, senior member of COSATU’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) and of the ANC leadership said, “The DA and its backers seem to work on a group of COSATU affiliates. Those include the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), the Chemical Workers Union (CWU), and regional representations of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), excluding its headquarters.”

He explained his above-mentioned point; “The opposition Democratic Alliance would need to build a large enough powerbase in preparation for a serious strategy of forming a coalition agreement with the ANC by 2019.”

The role and the timing of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) seem to depend on its current leader’s situation. The question mark over Julius Malema’s political future and his leadership of the EFF would be addressed, once the provisional sequestration order is finalised. Malema would see his political aspirations for a seat in Parliament evaporate, as being an unrehabilitated insolvent would prevent him from being a member of the National Assembly. Malema would just be dumped then, as a Dali Mpofu might hope to quickly take over leadership of the EFF. However, he seems to lack credibility.  

Bantu Holomisa was invited to and attended the launch of the EFF. Commander-in-Chief (CIC) of the EFF, Julius Malema, shows deep respect for Holomisa.

Some 90% of the Marikana mineworkers hail from the Eastern Cape. Even the Sangoma, who addressed the crowds shortly before they clashed with the police, was from Pondoland in the Eastern Cape.

In the above context, it would seem that the timing could be right for the EFF to join the new coalition after the elections, Holomisa works hard for. New political parties would converge. They could vote in a block in Parliament with a new, now defunct ‘Namibian-style Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA)’ type of coalition.

The new executive of the emerging political alliance possibly led by Bantu Holomisa would then show its hand. Would disgraced former COSATU general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi become the shadow economic minister? Would the likes of AMCU head, Joseph Matunjwa, NUMSA secretary general Irvine Jim, Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele and a possible new head of EFF, Dali Mpofu, be part of the new executive? If that would be the case, could one assume that the AmaXhosa in the Eastern Cape attempt to get back into national power?

There could be power wrangling between Holomisa and Vavi for the top post, if the above pattern analysis is realised. Jim too could enter the new power struggle and a Dali Mpofu could aim at finance. This would be the perfect storm.

All roads leading to those power political developments point to one of the country’s strategists, former recalled president Thabo Mbeki. He was accused of being behind the breakaway formation of COPE after his defeat in Polokwane in December 2007. COPE consists mainly of Mbeki’s followers. Allegedly, he was also seen with Bantu Holomisa, Mamphela Ramphele, Julius Malema, Mosiuoa Lekota and many others, who seem to share a common interest in destroying the ANC. Thabo Mbeki remains strategic-politically very active.

And, so are the owners of the economy as well as the media barons. Initially it seems as if the corporate mainstream media has become fair and friendlier towards the ANC. Singing the same hymn from the same page of the same hymnbook in the same tune, the media subtly tries to push the ANC to exorcise president Jacob Zuma.

Currently, there seems to be a drive to cause a migration from the ANC, while creating a coalition of interest to the left of South Africa’s ruling party. Definite emergent patterns are taking place.  NUMSA’s Irvine Jim announced the breakaway from the tripartite structure, forming a new, socialist political party.  

The political manoeuvring seems centred around South Africa’s platinum mining industry in its belt outside Rustenburg. It is currently one of the biggest revenue-earner for the country.

The South African rand currency value is weakened and wealth creation phased out. The strikers are used as cannon fodder, as their demands for a wage increase of ZAR12 500 seems too difficult to realise. It would give the owners of the platinum mining industry around Rustenburg a gap to close their mines down. The platinum deposits in the Limpopo province seem to be more attractive than those around Rustenburg. In other words, the strikes would suit the owners of the platinum industry.   

If the above pattern analysis proves to be a reality by 2019, it could be described as a ‘real power political scam’, as it has indeed little to do with ‘democracy’.


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A Wake-Up Call For South Africa’s Ruling ANC (Part 1.)

South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), seems to have lost its ground as champion of the poor majority, or so observers tell. The movement, as it is known among its members, enshrined national participation in and ownership of land and economy by all living in the country, more particularly by the poor majority, in its Freedom Charter. The historic torchbearers of the ANC, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Duma Nokwe, Albert Luthuli, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Anton Lembede and Chris Hani defended the defenceless and thus, kept the hopes of the poor masses high.

History reflects that the ANC took pride in its tried and tested leadership. In fact, the international community on both sides, the West and the East respected its leaders then. Great pride was also taken in the broad based support from a wide range of South Africa’s society at large. Those included civic organisations and NGOs. 

By 1994 however, the ANC was totally disarmed, negotiated and manipulated to become an organisation of patronage. The Freedom Charter was dropped and replaced by among others, the secret Sunset Clauses. To date, those clauses protect colonial-apartheid’s senior politicians, their ministers, their generals, their strategic key personnel and their sponsors, including those of the Bantustans and those who operated in Namibia, some of them remain based there.

Negotiations with the criminal colonial-apartheid powers and their imperialist Western backers ensured that the Movement had to accommodate the former Bantustan administrations as well as the racist regime’s national overt and covert structures.

Stratcom agents, murderers, spooks, money launderers, downright local and international criminals, the likes of the Selous Scouts from former Rhodesia, Koevoet and 32 Battalion from former Southwest Africa, hit squads of the former Military Intelligence’s Civil Cooperation Bureaux (CCB) trained in Argentine, Chile and Israel in urban warfare, assassination and sabotage, as well as a host of organised crime syndicates were infiltrated into the ANC and its alliance partner, COSATU. Today, most of them are card-carrying members of the ANC. A frightening scenario indeed.  

This would explain the continuous low-key sabotage of many government- and parastatal services, tender rigging, bribery and corruption, steadily undermining the ruling party, badly affecting the poor majority.

The above-mentioned has set a trend.

Instead of employing and deploying known real cadres, new, unknown, corrupt, untested and untried people build their career in the ANC-led government and the party. This abuse of deployment causes a degeneration and eventual decay of the broad church of the ANC. It is this recent development that centres on control, working towards the exclusion of incorrupt, tried and tested cadres of the ANC. Meanwhile, the national debate and the dialogue with the masses were stifled. Corrupt and compromised praise-singers were allowed to move into senior positions of the movement.

It is therefore, small wonder that an ANC elite is criticised on the ground for participating in right-wing actions. Such developments became even clearer when certain technocrats within the ANC elite adopted imperialist neo-liberal policies through GEAR, short for Growth, Employment and Redistribution.

GEAR kicked off the downward spiral. It was never debated, nor dialogued. From then, technocrats took over and decided without any consensus, or debate.

To this day the same tactics that imposed GEAR seem implemented. Most of the ANC members and followers left for exile because of unjust and discriminatory laws, structures that worked for a discriminating, minority dictatorship.   

A senior member of the ANC NEC and NWC pointed out, “Most of the real ANC members are kept uninformed and in the dark. The question often raised is, who is leading whom?”

“The last straw that would break the camel’s back is the insensitivity towards the poor and unemployed majority by not dealing with the issues of numerous inequalities. Examples are a continuation of resembling the ‘grand apartheid structures’,” explained the respected elder cadre, still serving the ANC. He told this columnist, “The ANC fails to dialogue with its communities across the board. The movement has forgotten to take the national debate forward and continues to show rightwing anti-poor actions such as the upcoming e-tolls. The ANC knows, big business will absorb those new expenses and pass them on to the poor masses. This will leave them to deal with a massive increase of basic living expenses and eventual starvation.”

Those misguided decisions entrap the ruling party and create a vacuum for new, small and opportunistic political groups such as Agang SA, COPE, EFF, AMCU and new political alliances to be formed after the forthcoming elections in 2014 up to 2019. This however, creates confusion among the broad majority. Not to be informed is dangerous in these globally uncertain times.

Many respected ANC stalwarts, also long-serving members of the African National Congress in exile, unanimously agree, “For the ANC to get out of those traps which it had been manoeuvred into in 1994, it would have to abolish the ‘proportional representation system’ and replace it with a ‘constituent assembly system’, based on ‘one person, one vote’. It is most important that communities will be able to elect their representatives into parliament. This is the system the ANC had fought for. ”

The above-mentioned senior cadres further expressed their concern about the leaders’ fear of moving back into their own, former system. However, they have indeed no choice any longer and will have to move fast, even if at the expense of all small political groups.

The broad majority of the population has to participate directly in re-shaping its democracy and in that context, re-build their lives. The ‘party-boss system’ has proved to be useless and redundant. It is the tried and tested basic existence of the ANC of working with and for the masses of the country. A very dangerous development is to keep the masses uninformed and therefore, marginalised. This makes the general population vulnerable to rightwing propaganda, which works hard at misleading and destabilising the country.

The more the ANC retreats into a defence mode, the more vulnerable it becomes. Its enemies will abuse every opportunity to penetrate and destroy the movement. It is historical fact that the original principals of the African National Congress brought the huge following of the masses with them.

“A ‘party boss’ style would kill the ANC, as the mood of the people would be ignored. The elite would rule in isolation. It denies the people the freedom they actually own,” senior ANC NEC and NWC members warned. The masses will follow the ANC again, once they are included in the national debate and can participate in the voting for a ‘constituent assembly’ on a ‘one person, one vote system’

In fact, ‘proportional representation’ has created gatekeepers in the ANC as was demonstrated in the Limpopo Province. The ANC’s policy to grow new cadres cannot work for as long as it is exposed to ‘proportional representation’. It certainly stifles broad debate. It also makes people to become position and resource focused, the base for corruption.

“Comrade president Jacob Zuma did well in re-strengthening the movement’s countrywide branches. It is our aim that this will bring the ANC back to the masses and then the masses will identify with their movement”, the ANC NEC senior member remarked.

This analytical observation and research serves as a concerned and hopefully, responsible article, trying to avoid a vacuum for the rightwing to become the ‘white knights in shining armour’, propagating to ‘come to the rescue of the poor masses’, but in reality bringing imperialist separatism through the backdoor. The structures of ‘grand apartheid’ in a different frock would certainly return.


Twitter Handle: @theotherafrika