By BO Staff Writer
In March 2016 BLF laid criminal charges with the South African Police Services (SAPS) as well as lodged a complaint with the Office of the Public Protector (OPP) to investigate white corruption including white state capture by the following:
1. Johann Rupert (SA Businessman and Chairman of Richemont)
2. Maria Ramos (ABSA Group Chief Executive, Barclays Africa Chief Executive Officer)
3. Colin Coleman (Goldman Sachs’ South Africa head)
4. Stephen Koseff (Investec Bank’s global CEO)
5. Mark Lamberti (Imperial Holdings’ CEO)
6. Ian Kirk (Sanlam CEO)
7. Bobby Godsel (Business Leadership South Africa chairperson)
8. Johan van Zyl (Toyota Europe CEO)
9. Johan Burger (First Rand CEO)
The following founding statement of the National Convener of Black First Land First, Andile Mngxitama, was submitted to the SAPS and the OPP in support of the said charges and complaint.”
The following main events that has led to the current crisis regarding the state, are instructive:
25 May 2014: President Jacob Zuma transferred Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan to the portfolio of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and appointed the then deputy Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, as the Finance Minister.
27 August 2015: Nene refused to sign the financial authority to the US$100bn deal between SA and Russia to build nuclear power stations in SA.
27 November 2015: Rating agencies (Standard & Poor’s and Fitch) each downgraded South Africa’s investment status taking it to the tipping point of ‘junk status’.
9 December 2015: Zuma replaced Nene with Des van Rooyen who was previously a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee. On the same day Zuma facilitated the passing of the Russian nuclear deal.
10 December 2015: Johan Rupert accompanied by white bankers gives instruction to Zuma via Ramaphosa to fire Des Van Rooyen and hire either Ndlandla Nene or Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance.
10 December 2015: The currency goes into free fall apparently losing around 5% of its value.
11 December 2015: The currency falls to R16 to the US$ and R24 to the British pound. This is huge concern for white capital and hence the loud calls for Zuma to go.
13 December 2015: An urgent meeting is convened between the leaders of white industry (being Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Maria Ramos; Goldman Sachs’ South Africa head Colin Coleman; Investec Bank’s global CEO, Stephen Koseff; Imperial Holdings’ CEO, Mark Lamberti; Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk; Business Leadership South Africa chairperson Bobby Godsell; Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl and FirstRand CEO Johan Burger) and ANC leaders who subsequently urged Zuma to reverse the Finance Minister’s appointment so as to ostensibly save the country from economic meltdown. Zuma then announces the sacking of Des Van Rooyen and appointment of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance.
(Informed by the chronology in “BRILLIANT: John Battersby unpacks Nenegate, Jacob Zuma’s greatest blunder” in fin24 BizNews.com. Dec 24, 2015 13:32 (herein after referred to as “J. Battersby”, as well as the events indicated in T. Jika, R. Derby and P Rampedi in the Sunday Times News on 20 December 2015 in “Behind Puma’s U-turn: ‘SA will go bust’ (herein after referred to as T. Jika et al)
Particulars of Complaints
Pinky Khoabane pointedly says “(a) story that all South Africans should be worried about is the intervention of Johan Rupert, known as the don of the Stellenbosch mafia, in the reversal of the appointment of Des Van Rooyen as the minister of finance last year.” (See “Battle for heart and soul of the SA economy” dated March 18, 2016, in “African News Network 7” an online publication, herein after referred to as “P. Khoabane”)
It is further reported that upon the President’s announcement on 9 December 2015 of Des van Rooyen as Minister of Finance, the very next morning (10 December 2015) Johan Rupert flew to South Africa from London and “summoned Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to a meeting”. Johan Rupert was accompanied by bankers (“including Absa’s Maria Ramos and her husband, Trevor Manuel, who is a director of Goldman Sachs”) when he told Ramaphosa “in no uncertain terms that Zuma should reverse his appointment of Van Rooyen”. (See P. Khoabane )
In what can be said to be a follow up to the instruction Ramaphosa had just received from Johan Rupert, Ramaphosa together with ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe coordinated a meeting that took place on 13 December 2015 between ANC leaders and the captains of white industry. Two ANC representatives from this meeting, being Zwele Mkhize and Presidency Minister Jeff Radebe, called upon President Zuma “to back off”. (See J. Battersby)
To this end the ANC leaders urged by the captains of industry gave President Zuma an ultimatum in less than an hour before he replaced Des van Rooyen with Pravin Gordhan. In this respect the President was called upon to “change your mind, or preside over a Brazil-style economic meltdown”. A further elaboration of this call was that the President must “reinstate Nene or appoint former finance minister Pravin Gordhan in the crucial post” (See T. Jika et al)
Subsequently Van Rooyen was removed from the post and appointed to the post of Minister of Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs and the appointment of Gordhan as Finance Minister was announced.
The business delegation “painted various economic scenarios for the senior party leadership of what would happen over the next 12 to 24 months without urgent steps to restore investor confidence”. To this end the ANC was told that the first thing that must happen to correct the situation was to sack Des van Rooyen “before the deadline of midnight on Sunday” being the time of the reopening of the Asian markets. The most probable situation, the ANC was cautioned, “was of a multi-year recession and economic decline on the scale of Brazil’s”. To this end Brazil is experiencing “its longest recession since the ’30s, with inflation in double-digit territory, the highest since 2003”. Moreover in the week of 20 December 2015, Fitch Ratings had given its second junk rating to Brazil. Furthermore the risk that the SA currency would go into free fall with an adverse effect on interest rates resulting in an increase of between 1% to 1.5% age points over 2016, in the event that investor confidence is not restored, was strongly cautioned (See T. et al)
In elaboration – the concessions made by Zuma was a consequence of a meeting on 13 December 2015 between the ANC leadership and the white business delegation which included “Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Maria Ramos; Goldman Sachs’ South Africa head Colin Coleman; Investec Bank’s global CEO, Stephen Koseff; Imperial Holdings’ CEO, Mark Lamberti; Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk; Business Leadership South Africa chairperson Bobby Godsell; Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl and FirstRand CEO Johan Burger.” (See J. Batterby)
On sacking Finance Minister, Ndlandla Nene, Zuma apparently was clear on pushing the US$100bn nuclear power station deal and the “re-casting” of a leasing deal amounting to $624m with Airbus Industries. Nene and subsequently Gordhan were against both the deals as desired by Zuma citing un-affordability and indicating the nuclear deal will only be realized when extra revenue was raised and the Airbus Industries deal will go through only as originally arranged. (See J. Battersby)
Battersby rings alarm bells regarding President Zuma’s speech at the African Business Leadership Programme gala evening function on the same day that he sacked Ndlandla Nene as Minister of Finance and appointed Des van Rooyen in his place. Zuma’s speech, which was broadcast live on national television, was elaborated within an anti colonial anti imperialist perspective. The salient points of this speech were inter alia as follows:
Africans suffered firstly under slavery and thereafter in terms of colonialism and apartheid. Political power without economic power is useless. Through colonialism Africans are created in the image of their colonial masters. As people who lack Afrikan consciousness and identity many Afrikans tend to serve the interests of the colonialism instead of the interests of the African continent. There is a clear distinction between true Afrikans (being those who show allegiance to Afrika) and those who are not (being those who worked against the economic interests of the continent and were denying the employment of state funds towards the creation of “a new class of African industrialists”) (See J. Battersby)
Nene’s sacking seemingly sent a signal, as alluded to by Batterby, that “South Africa no longer needs to heed the warnings of Western investors as it has billions of dollars worth of cheap loans on tap from China and will benefit from the new development bank created for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the BRICS countries”. Furthermore (well at least on the surface) it “accords with Zuma’s personal pan-African vision of a united continent where political freedom is matched by economic freedom and all traces of colonial power have vanished.” (See J. Battersby)
There are allegations that the Guptas who have huge uranium mining interests and who are closely linked to the President have influenced the closing of the nuclear deal and to this end may even be responsible for influencing the dismissal of Nene. (See J. Battersby)
Claims by Mentor and Jonas:
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has claimed that she was offered the Minister of Public Enterprises job at the house of the Gupta family. Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas has also claimed that he was offered the position of Minister of Finance by a Gupta family member and that he rejected the offer “out of hand”.
Opinion makers like Professor Pierre de Vos and Max Du Preeze have ran these stories which they presented as evidence that corroborates the theory of “state capture” by the Gupta family.
The Gupta family on their part have denied the above claims by Mentor and Jonas.
Vytjie Mentor and Mcebisi Jonas must each answer the following question:
1. Why has Vytjie Mentor kept quite (about 5 years) on such a serious matter for this long? Also why did Mcebisi Jonas not report the matter to the ANC immediately after being approached by the Guptas as alleged by him?
2. Why have both Mentor and Jonas not charged the Guptas for corruption for their offer of a ministerial position to each of them?
3. Why makes such serious complains / declarations outside the processes of their organizational structure? To this end, why not follow the grievance or disciplinary process of the ANC?
4. What was Vytjie Mentor doing at the Gupta family home? (Doesn’t she say they are corrupt?).
5. Who invited Vytjie Mentor to Saxonworld?
6. Since they are both senior members of the ANC, have they at least complained to their organization?
7. Do they both believe that President Zuma was aware of what was said between each of them and the Guptas?
Against the backdrop of slavery and colonial land theft, the assertion that the state is captured by white capital is further corroborated by the following evidence that demonstrates where the listed wealth of SA in terms of the Johannesberg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Forbes is located. This explodes the myth of “state capture” by the Guptas.
THE FOLLOWING ARE BEHIND THE THEORY OF THE “STATE CAPTURE” BY THE GUPTAS AND THE ANTI GUPTA CAMPAIGN
1. White capital in general remains the enemy of black liberation and has captured both state and economy. Regarding the case at hand, the relevant institutions and individuals of white capital include:
a. SA Businessman and Chairman of Swiss luxury group Richemont, Johann Rupert
b. Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Maria Ramos;
c. Goldman Sachs’ South Africa head Colin Coleman;
d. Investec Bank’s global CEO, Stephen Koseff;
e. Imperial Holdings’ CEO, Mark Lamberti;
f. Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk;
g. Business Leadership South Africa chairperson Bobby Godsell;
h. Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl and
i. FirstRand CEO Johan Burger
This is why the “markets” were given who they demanded – Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance. The rating agencies were used by white capital to get the SA state to comply to their demands and ultimately surrender.
2. The Guptas are threatening white capital that’s why they are targeted.
3. The Guptas Must Go campaign was hatched in London as “state capture by the Guptas” by the global racist capitalist propaganda machine such as Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Economist, Independent of Uk, New York Times.
4. The Guptas are victims of the propaganda war of White Capital and by extension Capitalist Imperialism.
5. White Capital has in fact fired Des van Rooyen and hired Pravin Gordhan. Here there is no outcry but allegations suggesting that the Guptas are hiring Ministers breaks the gates of hell.
6. A call to fight the Guptas in the current context is part of pursuing and serving the London-agenda. Why was there no call for the Guptas to go after the Waterkloof scandal? Why is there no campaign since the Marikana Massacre that Lonmin must go?
7. White Capital is angry with President Zuma because of his “look East strategy” more especially to the BRICS (Russia, India, China, Brazil) countries. White Capital is fearful that Zuma might be moving on an anti imperialist agenda based on the contextual formation of BRICS as well as the anti imperialist historical legacies of BRICS members.
8. The sins (for competing with White Capital) of the Guptas are insignificant compared to the real enemy (White Capital). The analogy here is that white capital has stolen the vehicle and the Guptas have subsequently taken the wiperblades from white capital. Consequently setting the people on the Guptas for the wiperblades only serves to divert attention and energy away from the real enemy, being white capital.
9. The SA media has entered the battle on the side of the London Agenda and are pushing the theory of “state capture” by the Guptas as well as the linked campaign “Guptas Must Go”. The media is not after the truth! It has failed to ask the right questions so as to adduce the necessary evidence to support the said allegations. It is busy fabricating baseless and empty “evidence” to suit the theory of “state capture” and their anti Gupta campaign.
10. Pravin Gordhan has been protected from criminal investigation by the Hawks (SARS Rogue Unit) because he is the Minister of White Capital. All the London agents supply SARS with the neo liberal agenda and budget.
11. There is emerging evidence that the London attack is well coordinated against the BRICS countries (Brazil downgraded and a new regime change mobilization has been orchestrated).
12. The main campaign of White Capital is to get rid of the Guptas. There is a treacherous desperation to proceed with haste to get rid of the Guptas. So much so that the Financial Mail (FM) on 14 March 2016, was calling for Zuma to go (by unconstitutional means) due to his alleged complicity in the act of “state capture” by the Guptas – this is effectively a call for a coup against President Zuma!
13. The Financial Times Jonas report, Vytjies Mentor’s facebook declaration and Jonas’ subsequent “admission” that he was offered the ministerial position of Finance Minister – all kept the “state capture” story alive but failed to provide the material evidence to support the allegations against the Guptas.
From the point of view of building an anti imperialist, anti white monopoly capital perspective so as to maintain our commitment to true liberation we cannot be fighting the Guptas under the command of our enemies, white capital, who still own the land and mineral wealth in SA.
On Questions Concerning The Law:
Johann Rupert and the other captains of white business (being Maria Ramos; Colin Coleman; Stephen Koseff; Mark Lamberti; Ian Kirk; Bobby Godsell; Johan van Zyl and Johan Burger ) are not entitled in law to appoint cabinet ministers. Moreover, only the country’s president is entitled in law to appoint cabinet Ministers. And yes Johan Rupert and the bankers fired Des van Rooyen as Minister of Finance and hired Pravin Gordhan in that post.
Pierre de Vos in his opinion piece raises certain questions regarding what the law says in relation to the alleged criminal conduct of inter alia President Zuma and the Guptas from the perspective of “state capture” by the Guptas. (See. Daily Maverick (an online publication), “Pierre de Vos: Zuma, Guptas and Power: What the law says” dated 23 March 2016 – (herein after referred to as “de Vos”)). The questions in de Vos are, as reflected below, by necessity turned on its feet from the perspective of “state capture” by white capital.
Question 1: Do the captains of white capital being Johann Rupert; Maria Ramos; Colin Coleman; Stephen Koseff; Mark Lamberti; Ian Kirk; Bobby Godsell; Johan van Zyl and Johan Burger (Johann Rupert et al) have the same constitutional and other legal powers as the President of SA to appoint anyone including ministers?
They are not permitted to do so. In terms of Chapter 5, Section 91 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No. 108 of 1996), “(t)he President appoints the Deputy President and Ministers, assigns their powers and functions, and may dismiss them”.
In President of the Republic of South Africa and Others v SARFU and Others (SARFU) the Constitutional Court held that the President is not entitled “to abdicate the powers conferred upon him by the Constitution” via delegation of his powers in this regard to anyone else. The import of this decision read with the powers of the President in terms of section 9(2) of the Constitution is that the powers to appoint cabinet ministers vests entirely and solely in the President of RSA.
While the SARFU decision “also made clear that the president is not permitted to act “under dictation” by merely following the instructions of another without applying his own mind to the matter at hand. Neither is the president allowed to“pass the buck” by handing the decision to somebody else.” Here we have a case of white capital (by the likes of Johann Rupert et al) bullying the state into submission and hence acting unlawfully.
Quite clearly the appointment of Des van Rooyen was not favored by Johann Rupert et al who then engaged in a well coordinated effort that led to the firing of Des van Rooyen and the hiring of Pravin Gordhan. White capital in the form of Johann Rupert et al have thus consolidated their hold on the state which in turn has previously already been captured by white capital in general via slavery and colonial land theft.
Question 2: So over above the legal considerations, why would the involvement of Johan Rupert et al in the appointment of ministers be bad for the country?
It is true (as alluded to by de Vos) that “(w)hen the president exercises his power to appoint members of his or her Cabinet and other functionaries, he or she acts as the elected representative of the people who voted for the majority party in Parliament. Although the president is not directly elected by voters, he or she is indirectly elected via the National Assembly and is thus politically accountable to the legislature and to the voters”.
Accordingly Johan Rupert et al, unlike the the president, are not accountable to the people as they were not voted for by them. By their conduct as aforesaid Johann Rupert et al have demonstrated a direct say in the firing of Des van Rooyen and the hiring of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance and to this end they have usurped the constitutional powers granted to the president. This amounts to a vicious assault on the democratic processes as it eliminates the relevant decision making power from the President – who is actually the person who is democratically accountable – and locates it squarely in private individuals and entities who pursue their own selfish interests which are quite clearly not the interests of the country.
Question 3: Is it a criminal offence to offer a cabinet ministerial post to a Member of Parliament “in exchange for favors”?
The criminal offence of corruption is committed in the eventuality of the circumstances posed by this question and the accused person is liable upon conviction to be sentenced to a minimum period of 15 years imprisonment.
As alluded to by de Vos the provisions of section 3 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, that “any person who directly or indirectly “gives or agrees or offers to give to any other person any gratification” (such as a Cabinet post), with a view to induce that other person to act in a way that amounts to an illegal, dishonest unauthorised, incomplete, or biased manner; or that amounts to the abuse of a position of authority, a breach of trust; or the violation of a legal duty; or that amounts to any other unauthorised or improper inducement to do or not to do anything, is guilty of an offence” are most instructive.
Quite clearly Johan Rupert et al had committed the crime of corruption in that thhe gave Pravin Gordhan a gratification” (being a Cabinet post of Minister of Finance which included the firing of Des van Rooyen), with a view to inducing Pravin Gordhan “to act in a way that amounts to an illegal, dishonest, unauthorised, incomplete, or biased manner; or that amounts to the abuse of a position of authority, a breach of trust; or the violation of a legal duty; or that amounts to any other unauthorised or improper inducement to do or not to do anything”. Pravin Gordhan accepted this appointment of Minister of Finance and Des van Rooyen accepted his dismissal from the post of Finance Minister. To this end white capital in the form of Johan Rupert et al have directly benefited by Gordhan’s appointment to and Des van Rooyen’s dismissal from the post of Minister of Finance.
Question 4: What happens to the case against Rupert et al should they deny the allegations against themselves?
It must be insisted upon that even if Johan Rupert et al deny all the allegations/case against themselves, the investigation of the cases, the prosecution of those accused and all other legal processes must continue to finality.
24 March 2016
BLF NATIONAL CONVENOR