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.
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.