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Why BLF Calls for Hands Off Zuma and demands Economic Liberation Now!

By Andile Mngxitama

Yesterday (04 September) the National Coordination Committee (NCC) of Black First Land First (BLF) movement resolved to undertake a national campaign to defend our sovereignty and to advance the struggle for the economic liberation of our people.

BLF recognizes that today there is a new global war for the consolidation of white imperialist power. This war is fought globally as a war of the West against the rest of us. More specifically the West has targeted the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The BRICS process is posing a serious threat to Western hegemony over the control of the world through evil institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The response of imperialism to BRICS has been two pronged via the application of economic terrorism – attacks on the respective currencies instigating inflation on the one hand and on the other hand, sponsored political instability. The weapon of choice for economic terrorism is the so-called rating agencies. They attacked the Russian economy but President Vladimir Putin didn’t surrender. He instead drove them out of Russia. Today the Russian economy is on the mend without the sabotage of the rating agencies.

The second strategy of sponsored political instability is driven by local political parties and Western funded civil society organizations. This strategy succeeded in Brazil to remove the democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff. The modus operandi is to use the pretext of fighting corruption to mobilize society (via lies including exaggerated media reports) and create an atmosphere of hostility against the seating president. Like in Brazil, we see in South Africa corrupt and compromised agents of regime change leading the so-called struggle against corruption.

BLF is an anti-imperialist movement which understands that once imperialism is allowed to take away the semblance of independence we have, we shall be plunged into naked oppression, exploitation and violence for profits. It is the duty of anti-imperialists to defend national sovereignty through demanding radical change. That is why BLF says, no to regime change, yes to economic liberation now!

The economic terrorist attack in South Africa has been engineered around the isolation of the Gupta family as the most corrupt institution and to paint it as responsible for state capture. The media owned by white capital has been at the forefront of this campaign. Opposition parties, like the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have openly teamed up with white monopoly capital in targeting the Gupta businesses. We have seen how Julius Malema had asked Johann Rupert to fund the “Guptas must go” campaign. The truth is that white capital wants the Gupta family out of the mining sector so that white hegemony over the sector is protected.

The hypocrisy of the attack on the Gupta businesses is apparent when one looks at the fact that those saying that the “Guptas must go” are silent on the plunder and corruption of white capital. Threats of occupying ABSA Bank are now a year old but not even an ABSA ATM has been occupied. Honest people would also ask why is there no “Lonmin must go” campaign? Lonmin was even allowed to address the commemoration of the Marikana massacre this year. The workers of Marikana were murdered to defend the profits of the London based Lonmin. We must ask again where is the “Lonmin must go” campaign?

BLF has undertaken numerous campaigns to highlight the hypocrisy and double standards when dealing with white capital including showing how white capital is allowed to loot with no consequences. Johann Rupert and others stole R26 billion from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). BLF has been putting pressure on the Public Protector to act on the complaint of the stolen R26 billion. Furthermore, BLF has opened a case with the police of ‘state capture by white capitalists’ which is being investigated by the HAWKS.

Those whites who stole R26 billion from SARB are the same whites who have bullied the ANC to appoint Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance – SARB falls under the same ministry. White monopoly capital wanted a Minister of Finance who will defend its interests and make sure that the looting of treasury by white capital continues. It has now surfaced that not only have those white capitalists captured treasury but Gordhan himself is a shareholder in many of the companies which forced the ANC to appoint him. The Minister of Finance is conflicted and compromised by his business links with white monopoly capital which has forced his appointment under threat of economic terrorism.

It is not surprising that Gordhan has now emerged as the public face of the “Zuma must go” campaign (a campaign to ensure that the interests of white capital are safeguarded) and to advance it to destabilise the BRICS process. Zuma is seen as being too close to BRICS and his so-called relationship with the Gupta family is regarded as a threat to the interests of white capital in South Africa. So the global anti-BRICS process finds synergy with the anti-Gupta local white capital interests to form a single campaign to get rid of Zuma in a process similar to the Brazilian coup.

Having failed to get the “Zuma must go” campaign off the ground via opposition parties and racist civil society organisations like Solidarity amongst others, the campaign has now been driven by imperialist interests inside the ANC as seen by the marches to occupy the Head Quarters of the ruling party calling for the president to step down.

BLF believes that the focus on Zuma is a misdiagnosis of the problem and a strategy to keep us busy with peripheral battles to protect white capital and the colonial structure of society and the economy. The same delaying and deflection strategy was undertaken when Thabo Mbeki was removed as president. The same forces which removed Mbeki are now mobilizing society to remove Zuma before his term ends. This is playing politics with the lives of our people by presenting false solutions.

BLF rejects the call for a coup. This regime change process deflects attention away from meaningful system change and therefore enacts a pseudo solution which at its heart preserves white capital’s hold on society and the economy. The problem is not who is the president of the ANC. The problem is how the ANC has failed to serve black people. Now we must resist the repeat of meaningless battles about who must be president. We must mobilise against imperialism by demanding radical change. The ANC has nominal political power. Let us force it to use it in the interests of the black majority.

BLF calls for resisting the anti-BRICS regime change against Zuma through demanding economic liberation now! We must avoid the trap of playing politics and of being deflected from focusing on the fundamental issues facing our people. That is why BLF says “Hands Off Zuma”. Let him ensure economic liberation. These same demands must be pressed irrespective of who is the president. It’s important to underscore the fact that BLF is anti-imperialist. Its message to this end is clear – the coup by the anti-BRICS forces that happened in Brazil must be resisted in South Africa.

BLF has asked for society to support its call that says “no to regime change and yes to economic liberation”. We ask that those who are opposed to imperialism help us fund the campaign. Please make any donation however small to:

Bank: First National Bank
Account Type: Business Cheque Account
Account Number: 62571202911
Branch: Rosebank
Branch Code: 253-305
Reference: name and telephone number (optional)

Today we ask what do blacks own after 22 years of democracy?
. Who owns the mines in South Africa?
. Who owns ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank?
. Who owns the land?
. Who owns Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Pep Stores, Edgars, Markhams and all the stores that we buy from every day?
. Who owns the media?
. Who owns the furniture shops, the car dealers, the cement factories and the brick making companies?
. Who owns Chicken Licken, Nando’s and KFC?
. Who owns the shopping malls?

Did you know that every part of the South African economy is owned by whites? Blacks own nothing! That is why we are unemployed and poor. We must ask, why are we poor when our country is so rich?

We say no to regime change because it won’t serve black people. We say, Jacob Zuma we want economic liberation NOW! It’s time to serve black people. No more white agendas. Economic liberation now!

We demand the following:

1. Land now!
2. Breaking up of all business monopolies.
3. Nationalization of banks and mines.
4. Free quality education.
5. Reparations for Marikana from Lonmin.
6. Action against white corruption.
7. Minimum wage and basic income.

Black First Land First (BLF) wants real economic liberation for black people now. Join us in action. Say “NO to regime change”. Say “YES to economic liberation now”.

Andile Mngxitama is the National Convenor of the Black First Land First movement

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