By Andile Mngxitama
Black Opinion shall continue to break down the so-called state capture report of the former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela. Today we focus on the number of complaints of state capture lodged with the office of the Public Protector and why Advocate Madonsela lied about the exact number of complaints in her report.
The former Public Protector’s “state of capture” report, which supposedly provides evidence of how the Gupta family has captured the South African state, is open to legitimate claims of being nothing less than a not so carefully orchestrated witch hunt. It is clear to any fair observer that Advocate Madonsela was out to nail the Guptas by any means necessary even if it means running a compromised investigation and padding it with lies where necessary.
Let’s consider what Madonsela’s report says to show how she lied unashamedly. On page 4 to 5 at paragraph (vi) she states the complainants as : “Father S. Mayebe on behalf of the Dominican Order, a group of Catholic Priests, on 18 March 2016 (The First Complainant); Mr Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament on 18 March 2016 (The Second Complainant), in terms of section 4 of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 82 of 1998 (EMEA); and a member of the public on 22 April 2016 (the third Complainant), whose name I have withheld”.
So according to Advocate Madonsela she received three complaints on state capture. The first two on the same date, being 18 March 2016, from Father Mayebe of the Catholic church and also from Mr Maimane of the DA. It would be interesting to see where the telephone records place the two complainants in the days before they “coincidentally” lodged the same complaint on the same day. Anyway, then there is the Mzekezeke complaint on 22 April 2016. The last complainant’s identity is not revealed and the reason for the concealment is not provided. This raises big questions about transparency as well as issues of ganging up to abuse a Chapter 9 institution so as to do the dirty work of people with nefarious agendas. Who is the last complainant and why conceal the identity of this person?
The key issue to focus on is that Advocate Madonsela says that her office received only three complaints on state capture. This is a big lie. Black First Land First (BLF) lodged a complaint of state capture on the 31 March 2016 at her office! We ask the reader to go back to the dates of the three complaints that Advocate Madonsela entertained: 18 March 2016 (two complaints) and 22 April 2016 (Mzekezeke complaint). The BLF complaint (31 March 2016) was lodged way before Mzekezeke’s complaint (22 April 2016). Advocate Madonsela not only acknowledged the latter complaint but even protected the complainant’s identity. This is strange in a report that is not shy to even make public the identity numbers of persons. The main question is why did Advocate Madonsela disregard the BLF complaint?
BLF has been saying that the Advocate was biased as a Public Protector and that she worked to protect white capital. The fact that she would prioritize a complaint received after the complaint lodged by BLF adds more weight to the claim that Madonsela is captured by Johann Rupert. That she was immediately, after completing her tenure as Public Protector, given a job at the University of Stellenbosch where Rupert is the Chancellor simply, puts the matter beyond any reasonable doubt.
So what explains Madonsela’s wanton disregard of the BLF complaint? She can’t hide behind the Executive Members Ethics Act because that would apply only to the DA complaint. She has entertained two other complaints for which she was not compelled by the said Act to deal with within a prescribed time. This raises the question as to why did she ignore the BLF complaint. The answer is to be found in the fact that, unlike the first three complaints, the BLF complaint does not point to the Guptas as being the culprits of the unlawful activities regarding state capture but points instead to nine white capitalists led by Johann Rupert. BLF provided the former Public Protector with evidence of how the undermentioned white capitalists were involved in state capture and to this end how they literally forced President Zuma to appoint Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance:
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)
What is even more troubling is the fact that some of the representatives of white monopoly capital who bullied the ANC into appointing Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance have criminal cases opened against them for stealing billions of rands from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Furthermore, Gordhan has shares in their companies thereby making him their business partner and protector. It is for this reason that BLF has approached the Pretoria High Court to ask it to declare Gordhan conflicted,compromised and captured. Gordhan has responded to BLF’s lawyers asking for more time before he indicates if he would oppose the application.
What is key is to locate the deliberate refusal to entertain the BLF complaint as part of a strategy to defend white capital by Advocate Madonsela. The so-called state capture report was designed not to find the truth or to deal with unlawful acts. It was instead designed as a political weapon to hand over to the DA and other opposition parties involved in the regime change program to serve white capital.
On 18 July 2016, 26 BLF members were arrested at the Public Protector’s office. They had gone there to protest for two reasons: firstly that Advocate Madonsela gives energy and focus to the complaint of the R26 billion allegedly stolen by, amongst others, Johann Rupert; and secondly to ask her to incorporate the BLF complaint of state capture in her investigation of state capture. She refused point blank and chose to ridicule BLF. Now we know that she was busy with complaints lodged even after the complaint of BLF. Little wonder the state capture report is captured.
Andile Mngxitama is the National Convener of Black First Land First