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Playing with South Africa’s Presidents: Zuma Out, What’s Next?

IMAGE: South African politician Cyril Ramaphosa waiting in the wings.

P.D. Lawton
21st Century Wire

This week, South African President Jacob Zuma was forced to step-down as president of South Africa, following years of attempts to remove him on the grounds of corruption and mismanagement. How did we get here, and what does this mean going forward?

Thabo Mbeki resigned from office in 2008 after the decision by the ANC National Executive Committee that he was no longer fit to lead South Africa and that he would no longer be supported in parliament. This was a result of Mbeki’s dismissal of Jacob Zuma in 2005 as Deputy President, because of his implication in a corruption scandal. Zuma was later acquitted in court of all charges. Mbeki was accused of misuse of the office and involvement in a conspiracy to remove Zuma for his own political gain.

Mbeki responded to the corruption in the Zuma court case and its use against his presidency by saying:

It was improper for the court to make such far-reaching ‘vexatious, scandalous and prejudicial’ findings concerning me, to be judged and condemned on the basis of the findings in the Zuma matter. The interests of justice, in my respectful submission would demand that the matter be rectified. These adverse findings have led to my being recalled by my political party, the ANC—a request I have acceded to as a committed and loyal member of the ANC for the past 52 years. I fear that if not rectified, I might suffer further prejudice.” (Source: Fam People)

The allegations against Zuma were possibly well founded but the case was used to remove Mbeki from office and besmirch his character. Willem Heath a South African judge publicly denounced Mbeki at the time:

“If the behaviour…. is not addressed, the application of the principle of the separation of powers will remove at the whim of those who have seemingly been using it most effectively for personal gain.” (Source: Guardian)

Former president Thabo Mbeki.

The skeletons have been kept in the closet and aired when it has become necessary to remove Zuma. The same judicial system that accused Mbeki of corruption , today accuse Zuma of anything they like.

The media played Zuma as the victim of Mbeki and denounced him as an aloof, intransigent leader. The media created a situation that led to the polarizing of public opinion between Mbeki and Zuma in what was portrayed as a power struggle.

Today the same game has been played by the media and polarized South Africans between Zuma and Ramaphosa.

Both Mbeki and Zuma have come under heavy fire by the media and South African institutions for the same crime which is the crime of economic progress – development.

Thabo Mbeki was the economic architect of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development). He was instrumental in this program to industrialize African economies. He also laid down the framework for South Africa to become a member of the BRICS alliance.

Since his election as President in 1999, he has had the temerity to act not only on behalf of South Africa, but for the security, peace, and prosperity of Africa at-large. His government is at work on the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor to bring nuclear power to Africa. He has defended Zimbabwe’s sovereignty against the mayhem of the British and their American dupes. His defense minister, Mosiuoa Lekota, refused even to meet with U.S. military leaders to discuss the insidious new U.S. Africa Command, a control operation posing as the Boy Scouts. In his broader foreign policy, Mbeki strongly opposed the war against Iraq and supported the sovereignty of Iran. Even while making serious mistakes in HIV/AIDS policy, he was right to refuse to be bulldozed by the big pharmaceutical companies and their political catspaws, such as Al Gore, who demanded full price for U.S.-made drugs, which South Africa cannot afford. Mbeki’s strategic thinking often put him at odds with the Anglo-Dutch oligarchs.”
(Source: A Slow-Motion British Coup in South Africa by David Cherry, EIR July 11, 2008)

President Jacob Zuma exited office under fire.

Jacob Zuma is responsible for South Africa becoming a leading African trade partner with China as well as taking its seat in the BRICS alliance. Under Zuma and as part of the BRICS economic reform process, South Africa established its National Development Bank. Under Zuma, the ANC began what is called Radical Economic Transformation to create an all inclusive economy. Zuma has remained a staunch supporter of the building of a second Nuclear Power plant to meet the country`s energy requirements as the process of industrializing the economy progresses. (Source: News 24)

In a discussion in 2017 President Zuma said the following which was like a dagger to the heart of the imperialist’s central banking system. What he said in this discussion is precisely what is needed for not just South Africa but all of Africa, if we are to transcend current stagnant economic thinking and view each member of the population as the real value of the economy.

“As you know we have a monopoly of capital in this country. Very few (white and male) are in control, have the key to the …. money. If you take the mines for instance, there are a very few huge companies that deal with the money, that`s where the origins of the riches of this country are… Those that are in power, there are very few who have made it because the situation does not allow it. If at the heart of the economy is finance, if the banks, the critical affairs that dominate everything are four .… but if the banks control everything, they take everything and they don`t want you to do anything with it. In other words what makes the economy tick is not in your hands….. it is a skewed kind of economic control. We say we must be part of owning, managing and controlling the economy…. The majority of the people must participate in this form. And that`s how an economy should flow. We actually frustrate our economy deliberately by leaving a few people controlling the economy.”

Africa News Network 7 TV 4 Banks Controlling SA Economy: Zuma:

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The attack is not on Mbeki or Zuma, or as will certainly be the case in the future, Ramaphosa. The attack is on the ANC. Successive hits are increasing the divisions within the party, and successive corruption scandals slowly smearing the whole party in dirt, a propaganda campaign run for the benefit of brainwashing the South African public and turning them from their loyalty to the ANC. The ANC is the only political vehicle that has the power and will to continue removing the feudal structure of South Africa’s economy which remains dominated by a handful of mining-related old South African dynasties. The ANC is being attacked from the outside and from within.

South Africa became a democracy in 1994 but recent events show that it has yet to free itself from the grip of its old imperial master who hates nothing more than the idea of any African nation becoming a global economic power with a fully industrialized economy and a socially compassionate outlook.

Author P.D. Lawton is an African affairs correspondent and a contributor to 21st Century Wire, and is also editor of African Agenda.

READ MORE BRICS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire BRICS Files

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