Udo W. Froese Correspondent
South Africa is a good example of a place where corporates rule the rulers and voters have no value as a result. Democracy is used to trick government and the voting population into submission, while corporates covertly manage destabilisation and regime change missions to manipulate markets. They
have deployed their economic hitmen and lobbyists, who execute their dirty tricks.
At the CODESA negotiations the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was manoeuvred into a corner, forced to sign the new dispensation and accept the forever-hailed neo-liberal constitution.
In addition, the ANC also had to accept a parliamentary democracy, as well as the secret “Sunset Clauses”, which transformed the Bantustans into provinces, preparing for continuation of corruption, followed by future destabilisation.
Remember apartheid’s grand theft of the Information Scandal under Bantustan minister, Dr Connie Mulder, Prime Minister John Vorster and Department of Information head, Dr Eschel Rhoodie? Hundreds of billions of Rand of taxpayers’ money was stolen through the South African Reserve Bank and a host of European banks.
From 1976, possibly up until 1994, those massive amounts of taxpayers’ moneys left the country. The strategic reserves like gold and oil were kept away from the public. Looting on an industrial scale took place. The apartheid elite benefited immensely. Since 1994 nothing was ever queried, nor returned. Where is apartheid’s loot today?
Since 1994 and according to South Africa’s electoral system, members of parliament are not accountable to anyone. MPs depend on the patronage of party political bosses. They have to tow the line of the party bosses. And, proportional representation promotes a “deep state” on all levels of government — national, provincial and municipal. Meanwhile, corporates continue to fund and compromise politicians to entrench a “deep state” and create a “failed state”.
One of the ANC’s respected senior NEC and NWC members explained the above development on condition of anonymity; “It is clear now, that after the fall of the Portuguese colonies in 1976 the apartheid regime became seriously involved in the war for Angolaand Mozambique. Simultaneously, apartheid Pretoria increased its oppressive brutalities on the ground in South Africa and more so, in Namibia. Despite sanctions, the apartheid regime enjoyed the backing of the West through its proxy, pro-apartheid Israel.”
The strategies to undermine and collapse the ruling ANC intensified from 1990.
Today, South Africa’s parliamentary democracy reflects a neo-liberal, capitalist democracy. Proportional representation has no room for a one-person-one-vote system in a constituent assembly.
Government and parliament’s sovereignty is continuously undermined and discredited through continuous interruptions and anarchistic behaviour, when the MPs know the rules. Outside of parliament a rollout of violent student and service delivery protests, and xenophobia take place.
A powerful corporate collusion seems to control all political parties. Only tough laws forcing political parties to make their funders and sponsorship public will prevent the formation of an anti-democratic system in the usual, but unknown form of a “deep state”.
As political parties have already been over-compromised, the five-year elections cycle would be an exercise in futility. In fact,it would not matter which political party wins the elections. The powers behind them remain the same. The game of musical chairs has therefore been perfected.
Could president Jacob Zuma’s appointment of Van Rooyen as the new minister of finance affect the Rand? What led to the collapse of the Rand in 2001?
Back then, the major banking, financial, mining and energy industries defended the fall of the rand, blaming “Zimbabwe’s land invasions under President Robert Mugabe, which had by then not even fully developed”, as explained by the former CEO of the South African Chamber of Business (SACOB), Kevin Wakeford, in the book “The Assault on the Rand, Kevin Wakeford and the Battle to Save a Currency”, authored by journalist Barry Sergeant.
Wakeford is quoted, asking; “What kind of ‘environment’ was a crashed rand? The overall impact of the heavily damaged rand was double-sided, according to Wakeford: It was a crisis of confidence in the system for the consumer and for the investor. In South Africa a group of right-wingers were arrested during that time, but post facto, I’m talking post-December 2001, they amassed weapons. What gave them the confidence to amass weapons? Were their plans linked to the inevitable socio-economic fallout?”
Barry Sergeant further comments in his book, “The Assault on the Rand, Kevin Wakeford and the Battle to Save aa Currency”; “During 2001 South Africa was hit by a financial crisis of epic proportions: the rand collapsed.” Kevin Wakeford was the whistleblower on the devious forces behind it all. He was severely punished for it.
Meanwhile, the Rand collapsed again with the assistance of the foreign ratings agencies, Standard & Poor and Moody’s. This time it was even worse than in 2001. The rand stood at ZAR18 per one USD in January 2016. Like in 2001, it came to light that an elite group of South Africans treated the country’s foreign-exchange markets as their own.
Why were Johan Rupert and the captains of industry quiet on the findings of the Rand Commission’s investigation of the collapse of the rand; on the findings of the Competition Commission on the construction cartel, which blatantly rigged tenders for the 2010 World Cup stadia to the value of billions of Rand?
The then head of South Africa’s Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, did whatever it took to discredit Kevin Wakeford. In his speech at the University of the Witwatersrand, Mboweni publicly denounced Wakeford, claiming to feel sorry for the appointed Rand Commission of Enquiry, having to investigate the collapse of the rand then. Mboweni denied the attack on the Rand and discredited himself.
Who stood to gain from the collapse of the rand?
As mining profits boom, consumers suffer under the weight of ballooning food and fuel prices. Mine owners were also the architects-of-apartheid. Currently in pre-election South Africa, the mining industry reduces its workforce by discharging tens of thousands of mineworkers.
South Africa’s inflation stands at 7,8 percent. Food as well as fuel prices skyrocket. Inevitably, it will lead to national civil unrests.
On June 26, 2013, the Business Report dropped a bombshell on its front page under the headline, “Construction cartel is criminal”. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) accused the executives involved of “collusion to rig bids and tenders for the 2010 World Cup stadiums of treason. The construction bosses conspired to commit fraud and deceit to defraud government of billions of rand”.
The above “included many prominent JSE-listed construction companies. They colluded to inflate the price of tenders and allocate contracts among themselves, adding billions to the cost of the SA National Roads Agency’s Gauteng Province Freeway improvements, the stadiums, electrical and instrumentation projects”.
Business Report published the Competition Commission’s findings; “Bid-rigging on the 300 projects was valued at R47 billion, of which R28 billion related to public sector projects and R19 billion for private sector work.”
The commission reported in June 2013, “15 firms had agreed to penalties collectively totalling R1,46 billion for collusive tendering in contravention of the Competition Act.” This was considered a mere slap on the wrists with a Cognac-soaked marshmallow, as no criminal charges were pressed.
Interestingly, the notorious South Africa’s National Roads Agency Limited was also directly involved, as it had issued 24 road rehabilitation and upgrading tenders at that time.
COSATU accused the executives of the construction cartel of treason. NUMSA called for criminal prosecution of the same executives. But their calls were simply ignored.
Are those cases of vested commercial interests that dictate public policy whilst the regulator is too weak to make them squeal? Cases of a subtle form of state capture?
Udo Froese is non-institutionalised, independent political and socio-economic analyst and published columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.