Curiouser and curiouser: What began as fairly colourful debates have become nothing short of fruity since the ConCourt judgment regarding Nkandla was handed down. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more surreal, the ANC Women’s League issued a several-page statement warning that the day had come “for truth to burst, in as much as it was heaped up, boiling quietly inside”. Hang on to your hats, folks, because this week’s greatest hits are about to move into the Wonderland zone. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
It started kinda like you would expect
Whatever our president is going through right now, we are behind him.
– President of the Veterans League in Gauteng, Lawrence Mbatha
We have got full confidence in President Zuma. President Zuma will be president of the country until the next election.
– Thabo Meeko, ANC spokesman in the Free State, April 2016
We accept that the president demonstrated humility and acted in good faith. The apology by the president displays the ANC character of respect and unprecedented courage.
– ANC Eastern Cape Chapter, April 2016
But then they touched him on his homestead
Staff riders and wedge-drivers have intensified their war to divide the ANC and enforce regime change.
– Meokgo Matuba, ANC Women’s League Secretary General
I want you comrades to know that we have uncovered such a plot … we must start to build the capabilities of the SANDF to the capacity and capabilities of a world superpower. We must have one million well-trained young soldiers.
– ANCYL KZN Youth League Secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo, explaining that there is a plot to assassinate President Jacob Zuma and he requires maximum security (no, not that kind…)
Western countries [including the UK and US] want to wreak the same havoc like they did to Libya.
– Sabelo, elaborating on the above
We will not be shaken by songs of disrepute, clatter of confusion [sic], misinformed quotes by the mainstream media, and its originators, false religious prophets and veterans who have been fed to their stomachs by our former oppressors. Now is the time for change.
Our people are most welcome and liberated to derive their opinion, but we urge all not to be hasty, but rather search within the deepest of secrets to unravel the truth. We remain resolute to defend and guard the revolution against those who master behind the scenes in dividing and ruling the people of South Africa led by the African National Congress.
– Statement issued by Matuba, 13 April 2016
We were critical of the Public Protector in the person of Thuli Madonsela but we respect the office. We demand a more objective and less populist person who will campaign against government and its people but defend principles of the structures.
– Matuba, continued
Who captured what?
This statement, mailed to media by Matuba on behalf of the ANC Women’s League late on Tuesday, was so detailed it merited its own section. A painstakingly laid out explanation of who is really behind this conspiracy of state capture, it’s edited to some extent for brevity:
For how long should we keep quiet? […] Some of us knew the day would come for truth to burst, in as much as it was heaped up, boiling quietly inside.
Many of our people are aware of how far, and what sacrifices were taken to be where we are today. […] It remains unjust that, after 22 years of dispensation, we still find unfair, unjust rule of the many institutions that have sucked us of ourselves and even continues to cause deep, scarred divisions amongst us. It remains a mystery as to what extent the rule of law applies and to whom.
Matuba goes on to say the public protector promised to investigate the 1990s CIEX Report, allegedly implicating ABSA/Bankorp in apartheid corruption worth over R3-billion, in 2011, but failed to do so, and that Absa (which – not mentioned in the statement – recently severed ties with Oakbay) continues to operate “without penalties”. The statement continues in much the same vein, also slamming the Rembrandt Group and Anton Rupert who, according to her, called for Zuma to resign after the ConCourt ruling and – Matuba writes – is implicated in the report. “We chose to forgive but not forget,” she says. Actually, it was Johann Rupert who called for Zuma’s resignation; Anton Rupert, Rembrandt’s founder, died in 2006.
We ask to what extent the law must take its true reflection of judgement. We are worrisome [sic] of the fact that Mr Trevor Manuel, the former Finance Minister, also called in for the resignation of President Zuma.
Many forget or perhaps are not aware that in the early 2000, Barclays Group Ltd, started negotiating with our government to buy Absa Bank Limited. There was an outcry by many of our people, when the deal went through, noting the many deaths that Barclays was involved in funding the apartheid military with billions to kill ANC operatives, PAC/Azapo combatants and civilians.
Matuba goes on to blame Manuel and former president Thabo Mbeki for leading the charge in this negotiation, and in effect sanctioning the brutality of apartheid. She adds that Mbeki introduced Zuma to the Guptas and that they are facing an “unfair amount of attack, even after allowing the invasions of many institutions such as the Oppenheimers, the Ruperts and the Barclays to gain resources of our beloved state” – in effect, turning the accusation of state capture firmly in another direction. She continues:
We have remained quiet for far too long, chose to forgive but not forget […]
In note of all the above, we have forgiven our leader, Comrade President Jacob Zuma, and remain steadfast in our quest for economic freedom and equality alongside President Jacob Zuma. We rally with his leadership to a better change, and remain true to the course bound by the Freedom Charter. –
E-mailed statement was issued by Matuba, 13 April 2016 after midnight. It was entitled ‘ANC Women’s League Calls for our country to listen closely and attentively’.
Denial is a river in Egypt
We support for the call for the president to finish his term. We are fully behind the National Working Committee recommendations and decisions, and we are saying the right thing is for the president to continue to lead.
– ANC Gauteng Youth League President Matome Chiloane, April 2016, in response to ANC Gauteng executive meeting, in which they called on Zuma to “do the right thing”
That is the reason we are here – to raise the views of those people we are representing, to say ‘we really don’t agree’ and [they] also want clarity on ‘what is this right thing?’
– Chiloane, at a joint briefing held by the Women’s, Youth and Veteran’s Leagues in Gauteng
It is not the Constitutional Court judgment that is the issue. The issue is the trust deficit that has developed, with people beginning to trust us less and less and less and less.
– Gwede Mantashe, April 2016
Precisely whether it is the place of the National Assembly to discipline someone who is not a member… A point was also raised that the rules do apply to him when he is in the House, so these are all the issues we are applying our minds to.
– Speaker Baleka Mbete, 13 April 2016, debating whether Parliament can legally discipline Zuma
Just because your father was Walter Sisulu, it does not mean you can speak on behalf of Walter Sisulu.
– Sabelo, in response to a letter from 40 members of Masupatsela, children of exiles, calling for Zuma to step down earlier in April
The children of those who served in our movement in the struggle have confused our indebtedness to their parents to mean the movement owes them… It does not matter whether you are Barbara Hogan, the wife of Ahmed Kathrada, we will defend this movement against you if you attack it. Some of those who have joined the band [calling for Zuma to resign] are rejects of the ANC, they left the party because they lacked understanding of the movement’s complexity and today they stand as [our] enemies… wanting to influence it from the outside using opportunists from within. –
…Sabelo keeps going …
But his only error is nonpayment
Shockingly the individuals who, today, teach non-forgiveness, are the very same people who are apartheid activists and subsequently forgave the racists and bloodthirsty apartheid architects. Yet today they can’t forgive a man whose fundamental error is nonpayment.
– The already-mentioned Chiloane, April 2016
Thy Kingdom Come to Nkandla
It is our view that sectors approaching the ANC should be mindful of their doctrine principles and should not be influenced by political views on the matter. We have made an observation on the rewriting of the Bible in terms of “forgiveness” by certain faith-based leaders, in particular from Christian faith, where they adamantly indicated that they will not forgive President Jacob Zuma.
– Matuba, 11 April 2016
We wonder what kind of a man of God fails to forgive his fellow man whilst seeking forgiveness from God on a daily basis.
– KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo
We want to remind them unless there was a conference to amend the Bible, in our understanding in Christian faith that forgiveness is not optional but should be offered as an unwarranted favour as guided by the scriptures. Even the well-known Lord’s Prayer talks of: ‘…. And Forgive us Our Trespasses, as we Forgive those who Trespass against Us’.
– Matuba, April 2016
We have forgiven, but not forgotten.
– ANC Women’s League, concluding their statement that outlined a theory linking Absa, the public protector, Trevor Manuel and others in a broad conspiracy to persecute some (like the president) and not others in a system where it is “a mystery as to what extent the rule of law applies and to whom”.
Still, this had to hurt…
Zuma did not apologise for Nkandla. He only apologised for frustration and confusion. We cannot accept his apology because we are not confused.
Methodist Church’s Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, April 2016
And this is what All The President’s (Wo)Men are really saying:
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