This is the seventh edition of the Open Secrets’ series, Declassified: Apartheid Profits. While researching the recently published book Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit, Open Secrets collected approximately 40,000 archival documents from 25 archives in seven countries. This treasure trove contains damning details of the individuals and corporations that propped up apartheid and profited in return. Many of these documents were kept secret until now. Most remain hidden despite South Africa’s transition to democracy. OPEN SECRETS believes that it is vital to allow the public to scrutinise the primary evidence. Here we invite you behind the scenes to look at the documents that informed the book. Last week we looked at the global money-laundering system managed by Kredietbank Luxembourg. This week we see how a secret office in Paris was responsible for using this system to broker weapons deals and bust the embargo.
An explosive affidavit filed by the South African Reserve Bank in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday has confirmed suspicions that Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, colluded with President Jacob Zuma's legal advisers and the State Security Agency to use an investigation by her office into a 1985 SARB bailout of Bancorp to launch an attack on the independence of the South African Reserve Bank. The affidavit also suggests Mkhwebane lied about meeting “the Presidency”. The revelations most certainly offer grounds for reviewing Mkhwebane's appointment to the vital position and implicate the President in her unlawful behaviour. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has been holding its breath for Tuesday’s Pietermaritzburg high court ruling, which declared the party’s November 2015 conference “unlawful and void”. That conference outcome favoured Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s lobbyists, but this judgment now takes the fight back to the branches. While the provincial leaders who have been invalidated have already declared that they’re preparing to appeal, their detractors hope this will give them the gap they needed to prove their strength in the province. So, it’s way too early to exhale. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
The speed at which a tsunami can move is frightening. But what is less dramatic, and sometimes more important, is the speed at which the tsunami pulls out, as its power is sucked away and what has been destroyed is revealed. Tuesday was a day in which we saw some of the devastation that has been wrought. As the power is sucked away from President Jacob Zuma, as the wave that brought him to the highest office in the land withdraws, so we see the stark damage that has been done to the ANC. And to the office of the Public Protector. Unfortunately, in the case of this particular tsunami, it has the potential to cause as much damage during its withdrawal phase as it did when it first broke across our political banks. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
This month marks five years since the government’s National Development Plan was adopted by Parliament – and a spirit of celebration is in the air. At a gala dinner in Cape Town on Tuesday evening, speakers including President Jacob Zuma paid lavish tribute to what they described as a “living document”. In reality, the vision of South Africa in 2030 that the NDP sketches seems further off than ever – and the NDP increasingly resembles a text doomed to languish unrealised in a dusty drawer. By REBECCA DAVIS.
SAPS Courts Trouble: Good guys sidelined while state guns kill children and fan gang warfare on Cape Flats
While Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula announced an investigation into the disappearance of around 30 police-issue firearms from the Mitchells Plain and Bellville charge offices, it is common knowledge that much of the gang violence in Cape Town has been fuelled by the sale of guns to criminals by members of the SAPS. In August, the Cape Labour Court ruled that two of the province’s most senior anti-gang specialists, Peter Jacobs and Jeremy Veary, be reinstated in their jobs after they had been unexpectedly shafted by former acting National Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. However, SAPS national leadership is appealing the ruling. There is something deeply rotten in the state of the SAPS in the Western Cape. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The Democratic Alliance, which will be in the North Gauteng High Court most of the week in two cases against the president, on Tuesday argued that President Jacob Zuma has violated the Constitution by not establishing a commission of inquiry into Gupta-linked state capture, as recommended by the former public protector. Zuma first wants a chance to challenge Thuli Madonsela’s report. By GREG NICOLSON.
South Africa must understand that other countries regard the adoption of the ban treaty in the UN General Assembly as very destabilising. And it might end up having a very serious impact on the international strategic environment. By PETER FABRICIUS.
A total ban of nuclear weapons – the world’s most indiscriminate and inhumane weapons – is now within reach, but it will take persistence and commitment to rid the world of this heinous weaponry. The good news: African states have already shown us the successful path to a nuclear ban. By SARAH SWART.
Dr Sandile Buthelezi was recently appointed as the new head (CEO) of the South African National Aids Council. His appointment follows the suspicious non-renewal of the previous CEO Dr Fareed Abdullah’s contract and unsuccessful attempts to lure Eastern Cape head of health Dr Thobile Mbengashe to the post. The success of the new National Strategic Plan implementation and the long-term survival of a robust, relevant and ethical SA National Aids Council will depend on the new CEO. Spotlight put a range of questions to Buthelezi regarding his involvement in the Tara KLamp debacle, the persecution of doctors at Manguzi Hospital in 2008, and allegations of corruption. By UFRIEDA HO.
South Africa’s new financial regulatory model does what government does best: strangle private business, raise consumer prices, impose a complex new burden of rules, grow regulatory infrastructure, staff it with well-paid bureaucrats, and give them all conflicting mandates and lines of responsibility. By IVO VEGTER.
Forty years after police killed Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko, no one has been prosecuted. That’s despite five officers being denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As the country commemorates another year since the struggle hero was killed, the inquest into Biko’s death should be reopened. The recent inquest into Ahmed Timol’s death sets an example. By GREG NICOLSON.
SIZOPHILA NTWENHLE MKHIZE: The ANC cannot be liquidated, and neither can the critical voice of the ANC youth
When delivering the January 8th Statement on behalf of our glorious organisation, the ANC, President Oliver Tambo had this to say, “The ANC is at once the life, the national awareness and the political experience of the popular masses of South Africa. As the people cannot be liquidated, neither can the ANC.” (8 January, 1984). These words are relevant in the current discourse, amid the threats faced by the ANC as a party in power.
The Open Government Partnership is hosting side events at the United Nations General Assembly next week. This is an important occasion to engage with heads of state and government. The high-level meeting will mark the handover of the chairpersonship of the steering committee from the government of France to the government of Georgia and from the US’s Manish Bapna to me. Open Government Partnership is an essential tool of bringing into reality that vision of government I held as a 17-year-old Mandela supporter.
Nominations for ANC leadership have started in full force with aspiring candidates raising their hands, and addressing memorial lectures of struggle heroes such as Ahmed Kathrada, OR Tambo, Chris Hani and other heroes of the struggle for the liberation of South Africa. All claim to be following in the path of the past heroes – but as to how far that is true, only heavens knows.
The revelations contained in the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) supplementary affidavit raises uncomfortable questions about the current Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office. At best, it raises questions about the Public Protector’s competence and knowledge of the law, and, at worst, it raises questions about her independence and impartiality.