By BO Staff Writer
On 24 June 2017 Black First Land First (BLF) held a media briefing at its Head Office in Ghandi Square, Johannesburg at which it covered its response to the the Mining Charter; the Public Protector’s findings on ABSA and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB); as well as the media cover up of corruption. It also addressed the actions it planned to take so as to ensure that ABSA pays back the money; and its call to the ANC policy conference. BO reissues the following press statement that was delivered at the above press conference and previously published on the BLF website on 24 June 2017:
Today, South Africa is facing a grave danger of being brainwashed by the white owned media with the assistance of the opposition parties into believing white propaganda. The nation has been lied to just like under apartheid where most of our people were made to believe that the freedom fighters were terrorists as a result of the propaganda of the apartheid media. Today again, those who stole our land and kept us as slaves on farms, their kitchens and mines are again using their media to make sure our people do not see the truth.
What is the truth? The truth is revealed by looking at who owns the wealth of the nation and the land. Whites still own more than 80% of the land and the economy. For blacks to get economic liberation they must defeat white monopoly capital (WMC).
The media has partially succeeded, with the help of the opposition parties who are the greatest defenders of land thieves and white monopoly capital, to shift the goal posts from fighting for land to fighting Radical Economic Transformation under the guise of fighting corruption. They go on about corruption as if land theft is not the original corruption upon which all other corruptions are based. The strangest thing about this fake fight against corruption is that the corrupt are fighting corruption. Julius Malema, a confirmed corrupt person who bankrupted Limpopo and was found to be corrupt by the Public Protector, is a leader of the campaign again corruption. This goes to show how corrupt the anti corruption campaign is.
The media is generating fake news to create the false impression that in SA the problem is the Guptas and President Zuma. There is a reason for this. WMC wrongly or rightly believes that the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) agenda is driven by the Guptas. WMC is going to be the biggest losers if RET is implemented. Hence they are fighting back and fighting dirty. The idea that Zuma and the Guptas have captured the state is a propaganda campaign by white monopoly capital and a strategy to divert attention from real state capture.
This is a war for land and economy to return to the people and those who have our land and economy wont give these up easily. Propaganda is one of their weapons.
1. Media cover up of corruption
By now most South Africans are in the know about the so-called Gupta state capture emails. It matters little that the e-mails are fake. However, most South Africans do not know that an internal audit report of the Treasury department has fingered former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, in instances of corruption in the institution that runs into funds amounting to R4.3 billion! The media has kept the public in the dark about millions more that are corruptly enjoyed by KPMG from Treasury. Evidence of massive capture of Treasury by WMC is being swept under the carpet by the white media.
The Treasury under Pravin Gordhan was a place of systematic looting. This explains why WMC wants President Zuma removed from office because he has disrupted the tower of corruption in Treasury by removing Pravin Gordhan. Now WMC is desperate to remove Minister Malusi Gigaba so that it can continue looting.
Furthermore, South Africans would also not know that the white owned DSTV confessed to the Competition Commission to committing corruption, involving an amount of over R100 million, and to this end has agreed to pay a fine.
How did the white media disappear the R4.3 billion scandal in which Gordhan is implicated? Realising the overwhelming expose’ by television station ANN7, the white media devised a perfect propaganda campaign.
The Sunday Times and City Press, two different media houses, published the story of so-called emails on their front pages at the same time. Evidently, the fact that two different, but white owned, media houses could have the same story, proves that the said story was indeed manufactured by the same source and accordingly fed into the white media platforms.
The e-mails are fake – but since most newspaper readers believe what is printed, they do not suspect that they are being given fake news from such big newspapers. So the white media, abusing the trust that people have in the media, manufactured the story about the Gupta family emails so as to divert attention away from the real shocking corruption in the treasury under Gordhan involving R4.3 billion. None of the newspapers had reported on that at all. The fake e-mails have been used as the smoking gun that would, once and for all, show that the Guptas have captured the state.
The white media had to manufacture the e-mails because there is no evidence of the Guptas ever having captured the state. Also to realise their propaganda, the white media disregarded all known journalism ethics and standards including the basic requirement of giving those written about a chance to react to the allegations. None of this was done which consequently opens the publications to be taken to the Press Ombudsman. It seems however that the white media doesn’t care for what the Press Ombudsman says. This is so because the sanction always comes after the fact and the offending newpapers face no further sanctions. In this process however, the reputation of the people are already destroyed by the fake news.
To create the necessary atmosphere so as to try and project the e-mails as authentic, the pro-white monopoly capital faction of the ANC leadership put a motion of no confidence in relation to President Zuma at the ANC NEC meeting and leaked the proceedings to the same white owned media. This was part of a well coordinated propaganda strategy with maximum impact. The strategy included constant updates and a hype about the possible recall of President Zuma. The motion had no chance of success and the proposer knew this. It’s role was not to remove President Zuma but to remove from the public view the fact that Pravin Gordhan is implicated in massive corruption in cahoots with white monopoly capital.
The strategy has worked. The nation was made to focus on the fake e-mails and in the ANC NEC meeting and thereby remove from view the damning evidence of corruption by Pravin Gordhan. The white owned media is currently not interested in “objective” journalism. They are brazenly pushing the agenda of white monopoly capital, even through manufacturing fake news.
The truth of how the Treasury was looted of R4.3 billion is hurriedly hidden under the heap of fake emails and bogus motions to remove President Zuma. Our lives and thoughts are being manipulated to make sure that we never see white corruption.
The white owned media together with beneficiaries and representatives of WMC such as Tito Mboweni (Goldman Sachs), Trevor Manuel (Rochilds and Johann Rupert), Pravin Gordhan (all the banks and most of the top JSE companies), assisted by the fake communist Dr Blade Nzimande, all deny that WMC is real or that it’s the main enemy. Their job is to deflect and erase the sins of WMC.
Part of this erasure is how corruption in SAA has been swept under the carpet. BLF has written letters to Pravin Gordhan when he was Minister of Finance about the corruption at SAA, he did nothing about it, in fact he made it worse. The nation will not know that the white man who bankrupted SAA and took R230 million for working, not even two years, was brought back earlier this year to finish off SAA by Pravin Gordhan. The plan is to privatise SAA so that its in the hands of WMC. The Chairperson of the SAA board Dudu Myeni is being targeted because she is fighting white corruption and wants transformation. Myeni is the next target of WMC using the media, parliament and the court system. Pravin Gordhan shall not rest until SAA is in the hands of WMC completely. Dudu Myeni is the only stumbling block right now to the SAA falling into white hands.
1. Criminal cases have been opened against the former Ministers of Finance, Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene. 2. BLF requests an urgent meeting with the Minister of Finance to deal with, amongst others, the corruption at SAA which was reported to his predecessor.
2. The Mining Charter
BLF says Zwane ke Bosso!
The Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, announced the most radical policy statement since 1994. The Mining Charter launched is a brave and clear statement in the quest to return the stolen wealth of the nation back to black hands. Minister Zwane deserves nothing but the unwavering support of our people in the struggle to realize RET.
BLF supports the Mining Charter as a minumim program upon which the total reclamation of the economy can be realised. BLF would have loved an even higher percentage that is in line with its own policy directive. BLFs position is that of democratizing the economy via nationalization of 100% of the commanding heights which will in turn translate into direct ownership by the people. The State in this context will only regulate the collective ownership of the people.
However, we recognize that the measures contained in the Mining Charter are not at variance with the BLF position on mineral and natural resources policy. The only difference is the quantum of the ownership announced. We have to defend these minimums and escalate ownership as part of the consolidation of the transformation process.
Some of the more revolutionary provisions of the Mining Charter is the call for 30% black ownership in 12 months. This provision is even more revolutionary if we consider the fact that in 23 years, not even 5% black ownership has been achieved in the mining sector. The Mining Charter shows revolutionary leadership.
Also, the Mining Charter prescribes that for all new licencing for mining, only applicants with 50% black ownership would be considered. This is another revolutionary measure which overnight would force white monopoly capital to transform if it wants new prospecting rights. Also the Charter legislates that 70% of the goods used in the mining sector must come from black suppliers. Furthermore regarding mining boards, 50% must be black and women representation must be 25%.
Also the communities, where mining is conducted, must be allocated 8% and the workers get an additional 8% stake. This is a revolutionary policy proposal which sets out direct ownership by the workers and the communities. Perhaps the most innovative and smart provision is that 1% turn over in the mining sector must go to blacks. This is the best way to beat compliance avoidance because turn over can’t be manipulated. The mining sector has over a trillion rand annual turn over. Now black people would benefit directly from this over and above any dividend declared etc. Minister Zwane has outdone himself in service of black people. These measures must be defended against all the reactionary forces representing WMC.
BLF notes the silence of the Charter on the Zama Zama miners. This is an area that needs clarification and strengthening. The Mining Charter is a good starting point for the transformation of the sector away from its colonial nature. Minister Zwane has given the best tribute to the warriors of June 16, 1976. They didn’t die in vain!
BLF calls on society to defend and further advance the provisions of the Mining Charter. Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has shown great leadership and vision. We are not surprised that the criminal cartel known as the Chamber of Mines has boycotted the launch of the charter. Furthermore, we are not fazed by the economic terrorism of the so called markets. The time of RET is now! Viva Minister Zwane o Bosso wena!
3. BLF’s call to the ANC policy conference
We say to the ANC policy conference, “Don’t sell us out again!” This is an appeal to the branches and the progressive section of the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and more especially the delegates to the 5th National Policy Conference of the ruling party.
Our first message to the ANC branches and the policy conference delegates is, we need to recognise that:
1. 1994 “democratic break through” did not signify the end of white supremacy. The 23 years of democracy bears testimony to this truth.
2. The consequence of the above is the total domination by WMC of all segments of the economy and society.
3. Since economic power in the “final analysis” determines the true nature of society it means ipso facto SA is a racist anti black society, notwithstanding formal declarations to the contrary.
4. Central to the above observations is the truth that the black majority is a people detached from their territory through land dispossession – therefore, we blacks are tenants in our own land.
5. The rights of tenants are determined by the landlords. In the past 23 years black lives have been determined by the desires of those who, de facto, hold our territory.
6. The imperialist attack is calculated to entrench the anti black status quo that is meant to keep the black majority in bondage.
RET is the Solution!
These are the elements of RET that must be realized:
1. Land expropriation without compensation.
2. Nationalisation of banks, insurance companies and mines.
3. Nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
4. Establishment of state banks.
5. Free decolonised quality education.
6. Universal access to free quality healthcare for all
7. Employment through national reconstruction.
Any honest observer would recognise that there is currently a deep contestation within the ruling party on the policy direction that must be undertaken. On the one hand, the President of the country has provided a clear direction in terms of a progressive agenda as summarised in the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA). The progressive direction was encapsulated in the unequivocal commitment to “land expropriation without compensation” as foundational to reconciliation and justice. This clarity has alarmed white monopoly capital. The President has furthermore called for black unity to realise land restoration. This is pivotal for black emancipation. The President, in the same SONA, provided a framework towards realising the RET.
On the other side of the divide, are representatives of imperialism inside the ANC who are working to defend the pro white monopoly capital status quo. These elements have been brazen and open with their agenda of targeting the President and working openly with the reactionary London controlled opposition parties. These same forces have been openly giving support to calls for regime change and a coup to reinforce the domination of WMC. They have coalesced around the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan. These pro imperialist forces inside the ANC have worked hard to undermine the turn towards RET. They understand that President Zuma is today the embodiment of a radical agenda, hence the concerted efforts to remove him and to sabotage his vision. The ideological strategy of this pro WMC faction is to deny the very existence of WMC.
What is to be done?
Firstly, we must deal with the structural corruption of WMC. To this end the following must be effected:
1. A Judicial Commission of Inquiry on apartheid corruption informed, amongst others, by the CIEX report must be instituted.
2. A Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the banks must be instituted. The terms of reference must include an inquiry into the closure of the Oakbay accounts.
3. A Judicial Commission of Inquiry on SAA, with specific regard to the role played by Coleman Andrews in creating the systematic problems of the national carrier, must be instituted.
4. The Competition Act must be amended to bring the penalties in line with the crimes committed by the offending parties. The current penalty system encourages corruption. To this end the offending parties must be penalized by the payment of 100% of the turnover for each year of transgression.
Reforming the Banking system
We call on the ANC delegates to resolve to transform the banking system through specific actions with clear deadlines, namely:
1. Establish fully licenced black banks such as Ithala, VBS and PostBank within a year.
2. Establish a State bank in each province within 12 months.
3. Immediately terminate all government accounts with ABSA.
4. Nationalise the SARB within 12 months.
5. Raise the percentage for black-owned businesses for procurement spent from
government to 80% (set asides).
6. The state banking system must operate on the principle of “Interest Free Loans” to blacks.
Three Pillars of RET
RET has to be the instrument of the popular classes and not a weapon for the enrichment of a few. For this to happen, the following three guidelines must be observed:
1. Constitutional amendment/reform;
2. Mass direct action against WMC; and
3. Prioritisation of the poor and the working people to benefit from RET.
1. Constitutional amendment/reform
The call to amend section 25 of the Constitution to realise “land expropriation without compensation” must be supported without hesitation. There is national consensus that land must not be bought back. There is no historical, political or even economic reasons to oppose the call for the amendment of the Constitution so as to facilitate land return. This call has the support of the State President and therefore enough political support from within the state system.
2. Mass direct action
If we wait for politicians to resolve the land and economic questions, we would wait forever. The best way to support land redistribution and RET is to undertake mass direct action against WMC and land thieves. The reactionary defenders of the status qou have increasingly mobilised for the control and hegemony over mass protests. All counter revolutionary processes seek to legitimise themselves through mass protests. It’s a mistake to surrender mass direct action to the reactionary forces. Mass action for land return, through land occupations by the popular forces, is the best form of action to give impetus to the call for constitutional reform. Furthermore, land occupation helps to build a mass movement at the base which is self-actualising. There is no contradiction at all between land occupation and constitutional reform. On the contrary there exists a dialectical relationship between the two, which can serve to harness the struggle for land return.
3. The Poor Must Benefit First
RET has to be explicit about the direct benefit that has to accrue to the poor and the working people. The poor must not benefit from “Trickle Down” logic but through direct ownership and sharing in the wealth of the nation. All the reforms in the economy must define how the poor and the working people will benefit. A clear commitment to the poor is central to the success and legitimacy of RET. While there is an acknowledgement that sections of the black middle class as well as the aspirant and currently dependent black bourgeoisie must benefit, these relatively privileged groups must however not benefit ahead of the popular classes and the working people.
4. The Public Protector’s findings
The new Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, is a gift from the African Gods. We call upon our people to support her and to pray for her. Advocate Mkhwebane is a brave and just leader who deserves the support of all righteous people. She has taken on the most powerful and the most vicious enemy of black liberation – the corrupt WMC. The white owned media, which is the bulldog of WMC, is already on a massive backlash trying to tarnish the good name of the Public Protector. Also agents of WMC such as Cyril Ramaphosa, the Democratic Allience and the Economic Freedom Fighters of Julius Malema have been unleashed by WMC against the Public Protector. There is a massive misinformation campaign they have started based on lies and attempts to frighten the people about “Constitutional Overeach”, as if the Constitution is not a document that must serve the people.
BLF welcomes the findings of the Public Protector flowing from her investigation on the CIEX Report relating to an amount of R26 billion that was stolen from SARB by apartheid era white capitalist criminals. Twenty six members of BLF are still out on bail having been arrested during a protest at the Office of the former Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, who had put the investigation under the carpet for almost five years. BLF has maintained from the beginning that the R26 billion that was stolen from SARB, included a portion which finally went to ABSA. Others implicated in the theft include Johann Rupert, Nedbank, Dymler Crysler and Amscor.
BLF supports the main findings of the Public Protector – firstly that ABSA must pay back the money. BLF had calculated a much higher figure which ABSA has to pay. To this extent a submission was made to the Public Protector. However, at this stage BLF would prioritise the pay back of the figure announced by the Public Protector so as to establish a process to reclaim the rest of the stolen money – even from rogue elements like Johann Rupert. They all stole from the same SARB – in the same way.
Secondly, BLF supports 100% the proposal for the reforms of SARB and the amendment of the Constitution. The silly noise from agents of WMC must be dismissed with contempt. There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about amending the Constitution of the country to bring it in line with its own claims to serve the people. The agents of WMC in the opposition parties, inside the ANC and the media are trying to create the impression that it’s a bad thing to amend the Constitution, so that it stops serving WMC and starts serving the people. The constitutional amendments suggested by the Public Protector are correct and would bring SARB into line with the main objectives of the Constitution.
BLF calls on parliament to serve the people and not allow itself to be captured by WMC. BLF says amend the Constitution and serve the people!
BLF notes that ABSA has announced that it would oppose paying back the money. BLF notes the silence from the traditional noise makers about corruption, including the EFF which has threatened to occupy ABSA until it was instructed in London not to do so. Now there is solid evidence that ABSA is a rogue bank, yet we see no action from those who project themselves as anti corruption crusaders. This hypocrisy shows that the anti-corruption campaign is just a ploy to defend WMC.
BLF is clear that ABSA must pay back the money! To this end the BLF President wrote a letter on 21 June 2017, to the CEO of ABSA Maria Ramos saying the following:
“I write this letter to put on record the intentions Black First Land First (BLF) have to speedily recover the money stolen from the people of South Africa and which your bank, ABSA, is a beneficiary. It’s no longer a matter of speculation that ABSA has unduly and unlawfully benefited from the so-called “life boats” which were in fact a system of theft by the apartheid elites. The bottom line is that money was stolen and money must be returned.
The report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, puts forward the culpability of ABSA beyond any reasonable doubt. The view of our movement was from the beginning that ABSA was as guilty as charged. The weight of evidence was too overwhelming even to the most cynical among us.
BLF has seen your statement post the release of the public protector’s report. Your statement is tantamount to an arrogant and racist dismissal of the findings of the public protector. This does not surprise us at all. But, no arrogance of an unjust stand can assail the power of our ethical demand for justice and reparations. Let’s make it clear to you, we are ready to suffer and sacrifice for ABSA to pay back the money.
BLF hereby demands that ABSA reconsider its position and pay back the money as per the public protector’s directive. An expressed public pronouncement by ABSA by Friday, 23 June 2017 is hereby demanded. Failure to do so shall trigger a national direct action by BLF which would include a daily protest at ABSA outlets that would lead a national shut down of ABSA.”
5. BLF’s planned actions to ensure ABSA pays back the money
1. Oppose the legal challenge in Court to the Public Protector’s findings and recommendations.
2. Call on the Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba, to withdraw all State accounts from ABSA with immediate effect.
3. Write letters to the ABSA shareholders demanding that they pay back the money.
4. Embark on “Direct Action” against ABSA starting on Wednedsay, 28 June 2017. On this day ABSA branches would be targeted and picketed. This is a build up to the national shutdown of ABSA branches.
BLF hereby wishes to make it clear that we shall not rest until ABSA has paid back the money!
Delivered by BLF President, Andile Mngxitama