The media has gone into over drive trying to mount a campaign preventing the Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, from having his day in court. Gordhan is accused of serious transgressions of the law when he was Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services (SARS). The allegations are that under his watch, a “Rogue Unit” was established which violated the rights of citizens.
Three independent investigations have established that the Rogue Unit existed and that it was an illegal set up. The most damning findings are from the Sikhakhane Commission whose findings have been confirmed by a KPMG report. A long list of white “investigative” journalists from the Mail and Guardian and the Afrikaaner owned Rapport have been implicated in working with the Rogue Unit at SARS and have now become the staunch defenders of Gordhan.
When the Hawks first sent questions to Gordhan the same journalists ridiculed the questions and provided mocking answers, publishing them in their newspapers without disclosing their close relationship with members of the Rogue Unit. Gordhan’s strategy seemed to be to use the media to mount a defence, up to a point of discrediting the whole investigation and legal process against him.
There is a view within the African National Congress (ANC) circles that Gordhan’s investigation is part of the fight back strategy to oust President Zuma after the appointment of his favoured Minister of Finance was reversed through the assault on the rand. The currency was plummeted to a point where Zuma had no option but to accept the candidate of white capital who is also linked to the London project.
The ANC is divided between those who support Zuma and his BRICS process, which effectively takes the power of the West over South Africa away; and those who are linked to the West and handled via London. The pro-West group is led by, among others, Pravin Gordhan, Trevor Manuel, Mcebisi Jonas and many pro-Mbeki figures including former DGs who have recently written a public letter of concern about corruption. Their strategy is to keep pressure on the pro BRICS faction to a point of removing Zuma and replacing him with Ramaphosa and to let the West regain control over the South African economy.
The opposition parties, in particular the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) are part of the pro-London group. Both organisations have been to London and met, amongst others, Robin Renwick, who seems to be the mastermind behind the fight back against the BRICS campaign. White capital in South Africa have also joined the campaign as seen by Johann Rupert’s open call for a coup against Zuma. The strategy has worked in Brazil; they hope it will work in South Africa too.
Gordhan’s appeal to the public to defend him is part of the strategy to have mass mobilisation against the pro-BRICS elements inside the ANC. Gordhan seems to have a case to answer and if he is indeed arrested it will significantly weaken the pro-West group inside the ANC. Many radical nationalists have criticised President Zuma for not going sufficiently radical and turn the “look east” strategy into a process of anti-imperialism and radical redistribution of land and the economy.
Right now, it seems the pro-West and pro-BRICS factions of the ANC are significantly united by neo-liberalism and therefore their fights don’t include the popular masses nor are they likely to lead to breaking the back of white supremacy and monopoly capital. However, the BRICS group is better positioned for some radical policy shifts and independence of the economy and financial system of the country.