Shame on Ramaphosa and his Boys’ Club for their ongoing vilification of Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

By: Sipho Singiswa

The relentless legal battles waged against our current South African Public Protector, Prosecutor and Ombudsman, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, are more about the concealment of the involvement of ANC Tripartite Alliance leadership in corruption in which White corporate bosses and certain members of the inner circle of the ANC Boys Club, including President Ramaphosa, are implicated.

And rather than allow due legal processes, governing the standard norms and practice of an investigation into criminal conduct, to take its course to prove their innocence through the open courts of law, the President and state officials close to him, together with the white ward opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), have fought tooth and nail to ensure Ms Mkhwebane’s probe into official misconduct does not extend into a full-blown and transparent official investigation.

This response proves that it is really about protecting the corrupt officials tasked with the responsibility of project-managing the ‘historical’ White monopoly capitalist agenda.

One of the major objectives of this agenda is the fragmentation and final destruction of the ANC Tripartite Alliance structures. The end goal is to ensure that a divided ANC is denied every opportunity to win a clear majority that entitles it to implement its key resolutions, especially its land restitution plan. With this agenda firmly in place, members of the settler minority communities are then able to entrench their control of the South African political landscape and economic resources, while simultaneously imposing their will on the indigenous African majority while the ANC leaders remain shareholders in this treachery.

Consequently, Ramaphosa and his political cronies have been doing everything in their power to frustrate Mkhwebane’s legitimate investigation into corporate corruption in which senior ANC officials are incriminated. Her investigation also looks into the abuse of power and state resources in which corporate bosses and President Ramaphosa are directly implicated.

Character assassination.

The character assassination of Mkhwebane by the inner-circle started soon after Mmusi Maimane, then leader of the predominantly White opposition party, DA, officially approached her office in 2018, and she agreed, to investigate violations related to the funding of Ramaphosa’s 2017 (CR17) ANC presidential election campaign. The inner-circle did everything it could to coerce her to drop the investigation of Ramaphosa. When she refused, members of the inner-circle who were implicated allegedly colluded with the DA in a media campaign orchestrated to vilify her integrity, qualifications and experience. This begs the question of what the longterm plan is for the ANC and South Africa, as seemingly being discussed between the Thuma Mina faction, the ANC and possibly Afriforum.

Where it all began.

Mkhwebane was unanimously appointed to her office in October 2016 due to her stellar qualifications, record and experience. However, when her investigations, which she was mandated to perform, led her to wrong-doing by certain state officials and evidence implicating Ramaphosa in alleged clandestine corporate funding supporting his ANC Presidential election and, by extension, his State Presidential election campaign, she was quickly vilified by the ANC Boys Club’s inner-circle. One can only surmise that her investigation threatened the historically entrenched White corporate class agenda, the sustainability and profitability of which are reliant on Ramaphosa’s Presidential longevity in office. She has been blocked at every step of the way of her investigations that reveals the President received clandestine election funding from, among others, Bosasa, a correctional service provider company. It is the same company implicated by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry Into State Capture Report for paying for security upgrades at three houses owned by Ramaphosa’s long-time friend and NUM co-founder, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe. Not surprising, Minister Mantashe is one of the leading figures exploiting state, ANC and labour union platforms to undermine Mkhwebane’s investigation and to campaign for her immediate dismissal from her official duties.

Included in Mkhwebane’s investigation is the illegal use of state funds for ANC elective conferences. In this case the validity of Mkhwebane’s investigation is supported by leaked audio recordings of Ramaphosa acknowledging the abuse of state security agencies and public funds to support his Presidential election campaigns. But none of this evidence seems to matter to the lawmakers, the corporate bosses and media houses supporting Ramaphosa because they are committed to their neo-colonial liberal class agenda.When they failed to dissuade her, Ramaphosa, his political cronies and the DA, again connived in a joint campaign that resorted to abuse and manipulation of the parliamentary processes and the judiciary in order to legitimise their campaign and secret pact to get Mkhwebane fired from her office.

Weaponisation of white-owned media.

In this battle White-owned media houses are used as weaponised public platforms to manufacture general public consent to undermine, dehumanise and vilify a Native African woman by forever interrogating her qualifications, mental fitness and ability to perform her official duties and, thus, deliver on the obligations and objectives of a Public Protector. The mainstream media is utilised to justify Ramaphosa’s conspiracy to criminalise and finally silence Mkhwebane by impeaching and firing her from office based on nefarious neo-colonial liberal posturing rather than on sound legal and ethical grounds.This is about laying the false foundation for Ms Mkhwebane’s public ridiculing, humiliation and final lynching that is only reserved for Native Africans who dare to challenge and defy the White minority status quo. When she appealed to parliament and the judiciary for protection against such political harassment, intimidation and official character assassination, the inner circle exploited the ANC’s parliamentary majority to reject Mkhwebane’s appeal, and the judiciary closed rank with the President. They argued that Mkhwebane had demonstrated her mental unfitness and unsuitability to hold the office of the Public Protector by over-extending her investigation into the President’s personal affairs, his conduct and breach of the Executive Ethics Code. They simply based their main collective argument on a March 2020 legally flawed decision by Justice Chris Jafta.

In her 2019 report, Mkhwebane disclosed evidence of money laundering and that Ramaphosa had deliberately misled parliament and recommended that he be investigated by the Speaker and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).However, Justice Jafta declared Mkhwebane “should not have even entertained the issue of money laundering in her investigation into the CR17 campaign”.“The public protector called for bank records of the EFG Bank account, which showed an amount of over 100 million rands were made into several beneficiaries. The PP admitted that she has not authenticated the hard copies of e-mails sent to her. “Those e-mails appeared for the first time in the public protector’s final report,” says Jafta.

Jafta argued that these were not included in Musi Maimane and Julius Malema’s original complaints lodged for investigation and thus Mkhwebane does not have the powers to investigate the President’s breach of the Executive Ethics Code.Despite the evidence backing Mkhwebane’s report into Ramaphosa’s conduct, in March 2020 the Pretoria High Court declared Mkhwebane’s decision to investigate and her report on Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign invalid, and set it aside, thus effectively protecting him at the expense of, yet again, another independent, strong-minded thinker and leading indigenous African woman committed to protecting the public from the actions of corrupt lawmakersThis decision is highly suspect and implies that if one law enforcement agency comes across evidence of criminality outside its immediate jurisdiction it must do nothing, just walk away from such evidence, and not even share it with other relevant law-enforcement agencies for further investigation and prosecution. This, even by layman terms, cannot be rationally and legally correct.

It is worth noting that the conduct of the DA after it had lodged its complaint about Ramaphosa’s election campaign funding viewed with that of his inner-circle of supporters suggest there was an undue expectation from both the DA and Ramaphosa’s camp that Mkhwebane would confine her investigation into his Presidential election campaign to just the R500,000,00 donation from Bosasa which could easily be explained away. But her impartiality and endurance as a public prosecutor, coupled to her on-going struggles as a Native African woman, has exposed the rot of political dishonesty, empty rhetoric, hypocrisy and blackmail by both White corporate captains and the Ramaphosa camp.Needless to say, Justice Jafta’s decision to invalidate and set aside Mkhwebane’s report of Ramaphosa’s 2017 Presidential election campaign will never pass the scrutiny of any self-respecting international court of law. Given all the undeniable evidence contained in the Public Protector’s Report, and the reasons he gave for invalidating the report, Justice Jafta’s decision is nonsensical and simply disgraceful. It points to a Justice and judgement that is less concerned about the irrefutable evidence and truth about Ramaphosa’s alleged criminal misconduct, but rather one that is more interested in serving and advancing Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina campaign to undermine Mkhwebane’s legitimate investigation.

Jafta’s legally unsound and warped ruling lends further credence to the concerns that Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu’s raised in her opinion piece titled Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice, about the short-comings inherent in a neo-colonial liberal constitution and judiciary, as well as their negative social impact to Restorative Justice and a meaningful emancipation of indigenous South African women.That said, it is clear that women like Mkhwebane and Minister Sisulu are casualties of MODERN day politics of a globalised, corrupt and misogynistic ANC leadership and the conspiracy to protect the White corporate friendly Ramaphosa at all cost. To this day Mkhwebane is still being threatened, vilified, attacked and intimidated for executing her mandate without fear or favour. The intended outcome of these dirty politics is to ostracise and intimidate Mkhwebane into succumbing to the pressure to drop her investigation into the President’s clandestine election funding, abuse of power and state resources. The conspiracy to undermine her investigation and the abuse of her as a person goes much more than meets the eye. It, yet again, speaks volumes about the political manipulation of South Africa’s current neo-colonial liberal judiciary system and also exposes Ramaphosa’s willingness to cannibalise his own people in order to achieve selfish narrow-minded objectives.

Where is the feminist outrage?

An equally critical point of disappointment for me, as a liberation struggle war veteran, is the overall silence and betrayal of women organisations purporting to fight for gender-equality, the rights and fair treatment of women. But where is their voice of dissent and intolerance to the years of abuse and injustices still being committed against Mkhwebane? It is disgraceful that these generally overseas funded NGOs’ sense of justice is often trumped by capitalist aspirations, morality and condescending western-based feminist narrative linked to funding considerations. This has, over a space of just 28 years, managed to corrode and fragment the historical unity associated with ‘Wathinta Abafazi, Wathinta Imbokotho’ campaign of the Native African women’s struggle for emancipation and gender-equality in South Africa, and explains their silence to the years of racist and gender-based violence against the likes of Advocate Mkhwebane and Minister Sisulu. However, the betrayal and hypocrisy of corporatised gender equality feminist NGOs has not deterred Mkhwebane and Sisulu from speaking for the subjugated Native African majority. It has instead strengthened their resolve to remain non-partisan in honouring their public mandate to serve the public without prejudice, favour or fear. Their in-depth comprehension of the globalised current political power dynamics, contestation and combative environment in which they have to execute their respective official mandates versus the impact of collusion and resistance by corporate bosses to transparent and accountable social transformation seems to propel them forward and reinvigorates their commitment to fight for justice for the poor and the emancipation of the economically subjugated African people.

It is high-time South Africa and the rest of the global community reflect on the strength and courage of women of Mkhwebane and Sisulu’s calibre. Appreciate and salute them for their sense of justice, hard work ethics and commitment to serve the poor, as well as their leadership tenacity.

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA SHOULD STEP ASIDE, NOT LINDIWE SISULU.

By Gillian Schutte

A  copy of the Report on the ANC Integrity Commission’s (IC) engagement with Minister Lindiwe Sisulu reads like a petty and contradictory missive written by those with a vindictive agenda to excise a senior member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for apparently ‘going rogue’ on them. In it the IC recommends that the NEC should: “publicly reprimand Cde Sisulu and instruct her to write a public apology to the judiciary. It goes on to say: “If this instruction is ignored, appropriate action should be taken and the NEC should publicly distance the ANC from her harmful utterances, and apologise to the general public.”

Sisulu’s so-called “harmful utterances” were made in her January 7, 2022, article Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice?

In what needs to be read in the framework of critical race theory and Pan African ideology, she points out, amongst other things, the failure of the judiciary and its constitution to adequately represent and protect the poor whilst re-privileging the white settler population.  She also critiques a government that has sold its soul to white capital and elitism – writing: “Meanwhile, our black politicians have become black assets for colonised capital. And that capital keeps knocking at their doors for them to facilitate economic returns to multiply their investments.”

She goes on to write: “The most dangerous African today is the mentally colonised African. And when you put them in leadership positions or as interpreters of the law, they are worse than your oppressor. They have no African or Pan African inspired ideological grounding. Some are confused by foreign belief systems.”

“In America, these interpreters are called the House Negroes. It is what the father of black history Carter Woodson strenuously complained about in his famous book “The Miseducation of the Negro”.

Within the context of Woodson’s writing on the colonised and mentally enslaved Black subject, who remains compliant and complicit to whiteness having been afflicted with self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy and inferiority as a consequence of slavery and oppression, she adds: “Today, in the high echelons of our judicial system are these mentally colonised Africans, who have settled with the worldview and mindset of those who have dispossessed their ancestors. They are only too happy to lick the spittle of those who falsely claim superiority. The lack of confidence that permeates their rulings against their own speaks very loudly, while others, secure in their agenda, clap behind closed doors.”

This it seems, is her cardinal sin and the IC document has this to say:  “It was pointed out that when a senior ANC comrade publicly characterises the judiciary as “house negroes” and having “colonised minds” – it was to be expected that there would be negative consequences.” 

Really?

So problematising the judiciary in a neoliberal bourgeois democracy, in which even the state and all its organs, as well as citizens, are stripped of democratic rights and increasingly become subsidiary to the market place, deserves a punitive response? 

This really amplifies the assertion by Noam Chomsky and Manuela Cadelli that neoliberalism is a species of fascism because the economy has brought under subjection not only the government of democratic countries but also “every aspect of our thought”.

This is nothing more than an anti-intellectual attempt to malign Sisulu and silence her voice lest the “liberation” party is exposed for the anti-poor, white monopoly capital serving sham that it has become. 

THE ANC’S COMMITMENT TO FREE SPEECH?

Ironically the IC’s assessment of the interaction with Sisulu begins with these words: “The IC is unequivocal in asserting the ANC’s commitment to free speech. It is one of the basic principles of the organisation and can be found in every relevant policy document . It is a crucial part of the Freedom Charter and was subsequently brought into the Constitution of the Republic by the ANC.” 

It then directly contradicts the above statement with this neo-Victorian moralism: “However, a member of the NEC and the Executive is expected to know where and how to express herself or himself. To select the ‘right to speak’ as a defence to justify her unfortunate utterances in public is disingenuous.” 

Really?

So writing in the framework of critical race theory and liberation values is unfortunate and disingenuous?  And does the fact that other senior members of the ANC, as well as some members of the judiciary, have put out to public similar critiques, hold no significance?

Surely we must question why different rules apply to Gwede Mantashe’s calling of the judiciary “counter-revolutionary” and Sisulu’s suggestion that some judges are “mentally colonised.” Why do they elicit such different responses from the party?  Why was Mantashe defended by the ANC for his utterances yet Sisulu was hauled before the Integrity Commission for her free speech?

The somewhat regressive and contradictory conjecture in the IC document can only read as an attempted assassination of Sisulu’s reputation, because she, like Chris Hani and some other ANC members past and present, has stated her alignment with the original revolutionary principles of the ANC when it was a liberation party and has dared to critique the Constitution as having done little to improve the lives of the poor in South Africa. 

Could this attack on Sisulu from within the ANC signify that she is perceived as a threat to Ramaphosa in the Presidential race?  This would explain the obvious collusion between white media, business and the Ramaphosa faction in manufacturing fear and loathing of Sisulu while casting her as a rabid radical.  Liberals across the race bar are still baying for her blood in an irrational backlash that has, bizarrely, cast her in the monstrous Black trope, as they are wont to do with those who are marked as a threat to the status quo.

The white media (which is shamelessly Ramaphosa-aligned) has come down upon her like a neo-colonial shit-storm.  She has been accused of all manner of misdemeanours, including being a Zumanite, a Barbie Doll/Gucci Minister with presidential aspirations, a veritable constitutional vandal, a power monger who has sought to undermine the judiciary with malicious intent and a danger to the “integrity” of her party. Of course we know that her essay has also scared the bejesus out of the privileged asset-owning white population and they have thrown insults at her from all corners of their limited ideology. 

Ramaphosa, on the other hand, has been flaunted as a paragon of virtue, the hope for the return of the heart of the ANC, the poster boy for anti-corruption, ethical leadership, a champion for whiteness as well as a revolutionary actor for the poor. 

What a joke. 

Firstly, Ramaphosa has a publicly known legacy of his own alleged financial corruption. This includes but is not limited to: corporate tax-dodging during his leadership of Lonmin Platinum Mines as well as MTN, the  largest cellphone dealer on the continent.   Add to this the controversial contracts procured through his Shanduka mining company. 

Ramaphosa is also the very man who, along with Lonmin bosses, was at the center of the Marikana massacre and who never adequately apologised for his role in the death of the 34 miners shot down and murdered in cold blood for none other than striking for a living wage. 

Ramaphosa prioritised his shares and protection of the London-based Lonmin tycoons when he insisted that concomitant action be taken against the striking miners. This call for police action was sent in an email on 15 August 2012 by himself to Lonmin management, minister of mineral resources and the police minister. In a collusion between these forces the miners’ fate was sealed and on the 16 August the tragic massacre took place at the Kopple where the unarmed strikers had gathered. As a former union boss, Ramaphosa could have encouraged negotiation.  Rather he chose brutality against ‘expendable’ Black miners.

Ramaphosa’s bloody legacy does not, however, end with the Marikana Massacre.  

What we have witnessed during his feudal-style reign is that any unrest taking place under his watch has been swiftly and brutally dealt with by his state security cluster, resulting in mass violence against defenceless Black body – a violence that destroys any semblance of the applicable rights outlined in Chapter 2 of our so-called progressive constitution.  Horrifically, even in the absence of protest, defenceless native citizens have died in numbers on two notable occasions under Ramaphosa’s Presidency. These are: the Covid level 5 lockdown in which 17, mostly African male township and shanty dwellers from across South Africa, were killed at the hands of the SANDF or the SAPS.  The other is the death of 300 mostly African and poor people in the July 2021 unrest as well as the racially motivated murder of 35 innocent African people by Indian vigilantes in the Phoenix area – a tragic injustice that has become known as The Phoenix Massacre

Again the President has never so much as addressed these tragedies in the public arena nor spoken of reparations to the families of the victims. This really says all we need to know about his empathy-disconnect with the usurped majority. Minister Sisulu, in contrast, visited the families of victims in Phoenix and, a source reveals, she paid for, out of her pocket, some of the burials of victims of the massacre. This echoes her revolutionary conviction in her personal history in the struggle.  It also highlights Ramaphosa’s cold and calculated corporate approach to governance and lack of conviction to the on-the-ground struggle of the poor. 

It comes as no surprise then that Ramaphosa’s gory track record has earned him the nickname, “Mr. Massacre.” 

The ANC ought to be thoroughly embarrassed by Ramaphosa’s ‘off-with-their-heads’ rule. Instead, they claim that Sisulu is the embarrassment, though she does not have the blood of massacres on her hands.  They are, it seems, seeking to impose the step-aside ruling on her for writing a critical pro-poor article, which they claim, brings the party in disrepute. What logic is applied that finds the massacre of innocent civilians and strikers the lesser evil?

It is also worth mentioning that unlike Ramaphosa, Sisulu was never mentioned in all forms of State Capture Reports. Her track record indicates that she faithfully fought corruption in all sectors, from the Public Administration department, to Water Affairs, to Tourism, where, a source reveals, she found dead people still earning salaries. Ironically she never received any form of support from a President who claims to be “fighting corruption on a daily basis”.  It appears his time is spent protecting all those who are aligned to his faction.  A source reveals that Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, is a case in point and is shielded from corruption allegations  because he is talking 2nd term for Ramaphosa. This, the source reveals, means Ramaphosa’s personal ambitions supersede the interests of the country, especially the fight against corruption. He goes on to say: “This is not to say that the Integrity Commission, white media and high-heeled Foundations are not aware of Mabuyane’s corruption cases, but they choose to keep quiet because he is aligned to CR 22. And look at the pace they are using in Mantashe’s implacable role in the State Capture report.  It’s unfolding at a snail’s pace because Mantashe supports the President’s 2nd term.” 

Some have claimed that the Integrity Commission is an extension of CR 22 and this is made obvious by their silence on all Bosasa beneficiaries which includes their President. They question the lack of follow through on the R500, 000 Bosasa story which, it is alleged was paid to the CR17 campaign. Then there is still the scandal of the R2million paid to the  President’s son by Bosasa. 

On reading the IC document on Lindiwe Sisulu I have to question who authored it. It reads like a collusive mix of disgruntled Thuma Mina propogandaists, some Daily Maverick type journalese, perhaps the doublespeak of an embedded ‘formerly progressive’ academic or two, a couple of judges, a bouquet of Stellenbosch stench and a flurry of Foundation gatekeeping.  Certainly it is a curious mix of P W Botha finger-wagging and neoliberal false-morality mixed with white outrage and ‘non-white’ bourgeois  babble. In short it is deliberately offensive and prejudicial to Sisulu, a perceived contender and threat to CR22.  This type of vilification is, it seems, a buffer zone constructed in a concerted effort to protect Ramaphosa’s campaign.

It is hard not to suspect that Ramaphosa and his faction is being shielded by a judiciary that appears to be actively participating in ANC’s internal politics and succession debate. Yet when Sisulu critiques the captured judiciary, which allegedly sealed the 2017 Nasrec files, she is set upon and attacked vociferously. 

In all, Ramaphosa (aka Mr Massacre) seems to be fortified by both the judiciary and the Integrity Commission of the ANC, which deals swiftly with anyone who is likely to contest Ramaphosa.  Assassination-by-reputational-damage is clearly the weapon of choice and is a weapon the White Media is happy to wield in their blood sport of extermination-by-reputational-damage of those considered threatening to Ramaphosa as well as big business and entrenched white privilege. 

But come now.  Surely anyone with a sense of justice, outrage at, and empathy for, the plight of the dispossessed majority, can see clearly that it is President Ramaphosa who must step aside, not his ANC senior, Minister Sisulu.

This article was first published 12.05.2022 on www.africanewsglobal.co.za

Ex Political Prisoners say that Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo should withdraw his bid for the position of Chief Justice.

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY: THE ROBBEN ISLAND EX POLITICAL PRISONERS INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PROGRAM.

03 FEBRUARY 2022.

We, as a collective of Ex Political Prisoners, are disturbed to note that Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was one of the first to jump into the boxing ring in response to Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulus’s long overdue article, Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice?  After some reflection we are prompted to ask where Zondo fits into the scheme of things regarding the CR presidential campaign?  Why would the Acting-Chief Justice risk engaging himself in a political fray when this can easily be construed as his involvement in a potential ‘conflict of interest’ on the eve of interviews and nominations for the position of the Chief Justice?  

We further ask if Zondo has not crossed the line by involving himself in a matter of a strictly political nature and outside of the legal parameters that bind members of the judiciary from involvement in a conflict of interest, by asking or lobbying the ANC leadership and, by extension, the State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to take actionagainst Minister Sisulu?  It is our view that, by playing politics and denying the reality of Sisulu’s reflections, Zondo has come off as appearing disingenuous and very mischievous with the truth about the South African political history and dire social conditions for the majority.  

Against allegations that the Zondo Commission is politically biased in favour of protecting the CR camp and has been lenient in its investigations of White corporate crimes, we are disturbed that the, as yet, unsubstantiated attack on Sisulu, appears to be a grand display of political posturing and colonial amnesia. We have to wonder if there is a possibility of Zondo being opportunistic in his ambitions for the position of the Chief Justice.

Again we question whether the perceived successes of the State Capture Commission dulled his better judgment, thus Zondo, unfortunately, has demonstrated poor foresight by involving himself in conduct that, one can argue, is unbecoming for a person in his position.  We can further argue, within reason, that by being selective with the historical facts in his criticism of Sisulu, the Acting-Chief Justice acted irresponsibly as an apartheid apologist and/or denialist. 

In his overzealousness to attack Sisulu, the judge uses selective outrage as justification for calling for action to be taken against her.  However, the judge tactically says absolutely nothing on the validity of Sisulu’s views on how the Constitution, as a fundamental key framework governing the application of the laws of our country, its government administration and responsibilities, nor how the laws must serve all citizens equally.  The judiciary is one of the critical state organs to ensure that these laws are applied and adhered to at all times.  

As liberation struggle war veterans and former Robben Island political prisoners we have no difficulty in comprehending the official need for and relevance of Sisulu’s introspection, given that she is also the chairperson of the ANC Social Transformation subcommittee.  

In his focused attack on Sisulu, Zondo has, seemingly, during a moment of positional overreach, allowed himself to stoop to almost the same low levels of the people he has harshly criticised for wrongdoing during his own State Capture Commission of Inquiry. 

Given this turn of events we can then easily argue that, while helping the campaign of the Ramaphosa camp, the Acting-Chief Justice’s timing of the release of the State Capture Report to Ramaphosa seems to have been pointedly planned to help boost Zondo’s own chances for nomination to the position of the Chief Justice.  This in turn, casts a blanket of doubt on the authenticity of the final findings of the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.

Another factor that is certain to unfairly improve the judge’s bidding for the position, considering the overwhelming view that his leniency in dealing with the economic crimes committed by the White industry giants, has made him their blue-eyed boy, which no doubt boosts his nomination chances with their endorsements. 

Furthermore, we ask whether Zondo’s public attack on Sisulu, in which he called a press conference which clearly swayed public opinion, could be construed as a calculated move in order to assist CR’s presidential campaign by tarnishing Sisulu’s campaign for presidency.

It is also of interest to us that Zondo’s main bone of contention was that Sisulu referred to some Black members of the judiciary as being mentally colonized. In our view it is a fact that all Black subjects remain colonised in neocolonial Settler countries and it is incumbent on us, against all odds, to decolonize our thinking. The Fees Must Fall movement signaled loudly that this is a popular sentiment.  Perhaps Zondo missed that.  From our perspective there can be no dispute around Sisulu’s statement and thus Zondo’s outrage is mute in this regard.

It is against this accumulation of grave concerns that we as a collective of Robben Island ex-political prisoners and liberation struggle veterans, have on ethical grounds no choice but to respectfully call upon the Acting-Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo to please withdraw his bid for the position of the Chief Justice.

Sipho Singiswa  – Ex Robben Island Political Prisoner

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I am ‘Indian’ and I support Jackie Shandu.

By Juanita Chitepo

 I was born in South Africa, classified ‘Indian’ by the Apartheid Government, schooled with and educated by Indians. I still maintain a family home, in what used to be and largely remains a Group Areas Act Indian settlement, in Northdale, Pietermaritzburg. 

When I saw the news of Jackie Shandu’s comment, ‘one Indian, one bullet’, I was not filled with anger or moral outrage. I did not respond with shock or horror. My heart sank, and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of utter helplessness in the face of what I knew was going to be a backlash of mammoth proportion against this passionate young scholar and activist.  I believe Shandu was attempting to express a National and unspeakabable grief (that is being suppressed and ignored in a most inhumane way) through his use of a turn of phrase that is symbolic in South Africa’s history of protest. This is, in my opinion, the legitimate use of artistic and literary device to vocally express that struggle and the lack of actual power or,  as in this case, weapons.

To truly understand and obtain a holistic grasp of South African Indian racial prejudice of the kind that led to the Phoenix Massacre, and all manner of violence against Black bodies around the Province, including my town and area, one must have lived, breathed and moved among the ‘race’ as I have. But most importantly one must be seen as ‘wanting to belong’ to this cultural group, racial category, classified community, as apart from, and even against, other so-called ‘communities’, a term that seems to have become an accepted and constitutionally sanctioned euphemism for race. To associate with Blackness beyond any perfunctory level of interaction, such as labour, business or casual social niceties, is unusual, especially for Indian women. Inter-marriage is an ultimate taboo and will have you disowned, ostracised and isolated if not declared publicly insane.

It is difficult to be intellectual about what to me felt like an attempted genocide of Blacks by so-called ‘Indian Communities’. Discourse around Asian Anti-Black racism in Africa and abroad is by no means new. That Gandhi used racist notions of cultural superiority to plead the case of Indians as deserving better treatment and greater freedoms than their Black counterparts to the British is similarly well documented. To deny now, as absurd and untrue, that cultural, economic, socio-political and linguistic prejudices and behaviours kindled and nurtured by the Apartheid state and perpetuated beyond it by the permanence of the Group Areas Act as the ultimate social and racially motivated social engineering experiment, has led to this bloody moment in South Africa’s violent history, is National mental illness and tragic delusion.

I am terrified of Indian racism in South Africa. I don’t remember an exact moment of any realisation of it, but the recollection of my fear of it began as a child. It was triggered by sight, sound and general sense. The tones of voice and body language reserved for Blacks. The jobs reserved for Blacks. The language reserved for Blacks. The dishes and utensils reserved for Blacks. With the privilege of an educated and politically involved family, as well as by virtue of being in the Christian minority among Hindu’s and Muslims, my inter-racial social interactions were unusual compared to my peers. We socialised to some extent with people of all races and class. There was no overt racism in our household (which is not to say that it did not exist), which made it all the more complex and difficult to comprehend when confronted with the extremities of it among peers. Apartheid was ultimately a lived reality based on difference that we wore like second skin.

The late eighties ushered in a new era of discourse in Indian High Schools. Suddenly we were discussing the potential repercussions of a New South Africa in which we would have to integrate or at the very least assimilate. The idea seemed inconceivable. My most outstanding recollections of those debates were that the boys were up in arms that their half-clothed sisters would be at the mercy of Black predators at the local Olympic Swimming Pool. Any dissention was seen as lunacy and sexual deviance. General racist slurs, the gruesome sexual dehumanisation of the Black female body in casual conversation, the construction of the Black male body as representative of physical threat and sexual violence was the everyday stuff of my teenage years.

Thirty years later, the more things have changed the more they have stayed the same. I have developed a near phobia of leaving my yard for fear of what I will see or hear beyond it. They WE us THEM decent blacks LOOTERS stupid illiterate useless K……For the duration of the period in which so-called communities felt the need to patrol the suburbs armed with artillery, knives, sporting equipment, garden and household cleaning implements as well as Bob whistles in defence of their lives and property, I lurked awake, night after night, sick with fear that the men marching up and down past my house would get what they desperately wanted – A Black to kill, preferably a Zulu, but any would do. People died here. But it wasn’t a massacre and we’ll never know. People died all over. And we’ll never know. But we do know about Phoenix.

When Jackie Shandu made his statements on the stairs of Durban City Hall last week, I had yet to have seen any public comment or media coverage that located the Phoenix Massacre, or any other racially motivated violence in the Province, within the context of deep-seated entrenched Apartheid racism among White, Coloured and Indian so-called communities. The prevailing narrative was one of stubborn defence. While the bloodletting continued unabated the SA Human Rights Commission, the DA, African Democratic Change, The South African Hindu Maha Sabha and eThekwini Municipality said and did nothing. The contrasting response of the public to so-called Hate Speech as opposed to Hate Action speaks volumes of the hypocrisy upon which this Democracy is based.

Jackie Shandu retracted his statement for obvious reasons, made as they were ‘in the heat of the moment’. Had he not, I would support him anyway. If Mr Shandu is to be held up to the Nation as an example of the consequences of ‘hate speech’ where are the warrants of arrests for the hundreds of Indians, Whites and Coloureds (including teenagers) who filmed and posted to social media their hateful, barbaric incitements to murder (and in at least one instance rape) Blacks in so-called defence of property? Until that time, when the daily humiliation, deprivation and dehumanisation of Black Africans by Indians (and other minorities) is boldly acknowledged and addressed at its root I will stand by my support of both Mr Shandu and his statement and continue to reject the racist identity of ‘Indianness’ foisted upon me by both the Apartheid and current government, as an abomination and embarrassment. Bite that bullet.    

WIKIPEIDA.

Tokyo Sexwale’s Nauseating Hypocrisy.

Tokyo Sexwale has long been fingered in his own corruption scandal regarding the millions in international funds raised for the benefit of ex Robben Island political prisoners and their dependants, which many of them have never received, says an ex Robben island prisoner. Instead Sexwale has enriched himself and his cronies through these funds – living the high life and even buying a R650 million island.

Ex-Robben Islanders Empowerment Forum (ERIEF) was amazed to see on JJ Tabane’s TV program, Tokyo Sexwale making such a big show about his moral outrage concerning corruption within the ranks of the new political elite. What a grand display of selective amnesia?


For years Sexwale has been at the epicentre of a corruption scandal that involved allegations of complicity, together with well known corporate companies, in BEE tender rigging, tax-evasion; secret bribes to politicians, members of the judiciary and embedded brown envelop journalists.

 
It all started in 1995 at the reunion of Robben Island ex-political prisoners on the former maximum security prison island where the desperate plight and poverty of many former political prisoners of the apartheid regime was widely debated.  After lengthy discussions, the ex-political prisoners adopted a resolution to form an organisation to address the welfare and re-integration of the liberation struggle veterans into the South African society. 
Soon after the adoption of this resolution, several ex-political prisoners were nominated and elected to serve as the founding executive committee, namely Ex-Political Prisoners National Executive Committee (EPPC) on 12 February 1995.   But due to anticipated legal technicality the name was later changed to Ex-Political Prisoners Association (EPPA). 


However, the ex-political prisoners were also sharply aware that the organisation could not realistically rely on donations alone to address the plight of the destitute ex-political prisoners.  For this reason, the Robben Island ex-political prisoners decided that the organisation needs to also identify commercial investment opportunities that would also assist to create employment opportunities for the ex-political prisoners and their dependents.


Consequently, a trust and business vehicle, namely MAKANA TRUST and Makana Investment Corporation respectively, were established to raise the necessary funding and identify the said commercial investment opportunities with the sole objective to address the welfare of the liberation struggle veterans. It was agreed that some of the funding raised would be invested in BEE related business entities and in the private sector for this purpose. Sexwale became a Chairperson of the Makana Trust.


However, when the invested funds and investments started yielding results in millions Tokyo Sexwale and some of his comrade accomplices became greedy and hijacked the Trust for their own personal gain at the expense of the association of Robben Island ex-political prisoners. They did this by exploiting legal loopholes to manipulate and amend the Trust Deed in their favour by bestowing upon themselves unfettered discretional powers to do as they please with the funds and the accrued investment dividends. 


In the post-1994 South African political environment and scramble for BEE tender contracts; political connectivity and the associated resources, became very crucial to  corporate bosses who wanted, by any means possible, a stake in all major state business contracts.The economic status and lifestyle aspirations of some of the Robben Island ex-political prisoners and ANC leaders at that time did not go unnoticed to the corporate bosses.  These aspirations, integrated to political connectivity, were explored, taken advantage of, exploited and abused to access state resources and major business deals to benefit individuals; family members; their multi-million Family Trusts; cronies; and to buy and influence internal election processes and outcomes.  


Robben Island ex-political prisoners, especially those who at the time were considered to have a close approximity to Nelson Mandela and the general ANC leadership, but also mostly economically challenged, were targeted, wined and dined as well as groomed to follow predetermined business and procurement policy directions.  


The name of the former Robben Island political prisoner and State President, Nelson Mandela, was exploited and abused, as well as used as a platform to underhandedly fast track and sweeten BBBEE arrangements, State tenders and deals.  This was done with the help of well known law firms. 


Driven by self-serving aspirations that finally led to the endemic corrupt tendencies and practice, some of the ex-political prisoners started using their connectivity to the corporate giants to influence internal election (ANC) and state policy decision processes, including the ANC deployment policy, in order to advance their narrow and selfish objectives that ultimately have negatively impacted the public service delivery in South Africa.


Not surprising, some of the said ex-political prisoners, flushed with unexplained, but suddenly acquired wealth, later became Ministers, DGs and heads of SOEs or executives of many corporate entities involved in State related business tenders and tender rigging.
This also explains the years of chronic nepotism; neglect; mismanagement and corruption endemic to the State owned former Political Security Prison island and internationally UN recognised Heritage site, Robben Island.


To this day, while Sexwale lives it up in multiple multi-million palatial homes, wine farms and holiday homes that dot the South Africa landscape, wining and dining in the most expensive restaurants, a lifestyle that includes a number of overseas holidays and a multi-million hideout island off the Mozambique coast, the majority of ex-political prisoners who are the founders of the Trust continue to live a life of misery and homelessness in dire poverty. For years they have been asking for those responsible to account but all in vain because the corrupt comrades use their political connectivity to close rank and protect each other.


Perhaps Sexwale can indulge the public by also explaining what happened to the millions that were supposedly invested to benefit the general community of Robben Island ex-political prisoners and their dependents?


MEDIA DESKSipho: 071 870 3303Mojalefa: 064 630 7233Ex-Robben Island Political Prisoners Forum (ERIEF)

ERIEF is a non-partisan organisation made up of members from all former liberation struggle formations.

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES – EX ROBBEN ISLANDERS SAY THEY HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF BY AN ELITE GROUP WHO RAISED MONIES IN THEIR NAMES TO ENRICH THEMSELVES.

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Adam Habib is not me. Sipho Singiswa questions Adam Habib’s appointment as Director of SOAS by University of London.

By Sipho Singiswa

As an indigenous Black South African I write to express my dismay and disgust at the recent appointment of outgoing WITS Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib, as Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) by the University of London. Board Member Marie Staunton, the Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees has this to say in her pleasure at his appointment: