'FOREIGN AGENTS' OP-ED
In service of honourable Minister Mantashe, we must expose the foreign-funded forces trying to destroy our future
The people of South Africa are the real foreign agents. Like every foreign-funded agent before them, these so-called people of South Africa are demanding things like clean, affordable and reliable energy. Representing a clearly foreign agenda, they are asking that the government do its job and fix Eskom.
Comrades, our visionary leader Gwede Mantashe has issued a warning. There are foreign-funded forces among us, trying to ruin our great country. According to our great minister, there are “anti-development NGOs” that are “foreign-funded” and are trying to “block development in our country”.
It is time once and for all that we exposed these foreign forces and kicked them out of our land into the abyss where they belong. And so, in service of the honourable minister, I bring you this piece, which ruthlessly exposes the foreign forces destroying our future.
Before we get there though, let us introduce you to some comrades in Mantashe’s struggle against foreign forces. First, is the Struggle stalwart Shell. For years, our comrades at Royal Dutch Shell have been at the forefront of the struggle against Western colonisers. Just ask the people of the Niger Delta.
Decades of Shell’s oil and gas extraction have made the Niger Delta home to a devastating combination of poverty, violence and inequality, layered upon deadly, toxic and polluted air, soil and water. Now that’s what I call liberation.
If you’re worried that the ANC’s financial investments in Shell represent a conflict of interest or corruption. Don’t worry. Our honourable leader Minister Mantashe assures us it was just a smart financial investment. It is a total coincidence that Mantashe and his Department of Mineral Resources and Energy are fighting tooth and nail to defend Shell.
Our noble minister couldn’t be more right, it is those ungrateful local communities and fisherfolk who are greedily protecting their homelands from deadly pollution, who are the real “colonisers of a special kind”.
The true liberators against this tyranny are Royal Dutch Shell and their super diverse British partners Impact Oil & Gas. If I remember my South African history, it was the Dutch and the British who liberated us from colonialism, right? Here they are to do it again.
Another true comrade in the struggle is the French multinational Total. Their valiant efforts to liberate the people of Mozambique from oppression have been a shining beacon of hope in the struggle against Western imperialism.
When Total went to Mozambique they promised prosperity and development, and boy have they delivered. Just look at the recent studies showing that oil and gas exploration in Mozambique has deepened poverty and inequality, not alleviated it. It has also sparked intense bloody conflict that is plunging Mozambique into turmoil — what security forces described as “total chaos”.
As the map below shows, across South Africa the ANC is carving up our land and oceans. You’d be mistaken if you thought the map resembles how Africa was carved up for colonial exploitation. This is a map of liberation delivered by the noblest of multinational oil and gas corporations!
The biggest winners in the scramble for our resources are Shell, Total, and Impact Oil & Gas. Then there’s Silver Wave Energy, which is driven by the oppressive regime in Myanmar and will reap massive profits from exploiting our coastlines. Much of the coast will also be opened up for the human rights-loving Qatari government’s oil and gas corporations.
Probably the biggest ally in our fight against foreign forces is China. The ANC has forged a strong partnership with the Chinese government to try to force through a coal-fired, polluting industrial zone in Limpopo. Heading up the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone, our government has joined forces with Hong Kong-based businessman Yat Hoi Ning, who was removed as chief executive of his previous company amid allegations of misconduct and fraud.
Ning is a fugitive from the law in Zimbabwe and has a London high court judgment against him. That won’t stop the Ramaphosa administration from working with him to build a polluting and expensive white elephant that will guzzle billions of litres of water in drought-stricken Limpopo, all the while destroying vitally important land and water resources.
Another one of the true comrades helping the ANC in its fight against foreign forces is, of course, Russia. The ANC is grateful for the large amounts of money it receives from United Manganese of Kalahari, via a shady network of companies that leads back to sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg — a close friend of the Kremlin.
That of course has no influence on the ANC’s cosying up to Russia, or Gwede Mantashe’s campaign to buy oil and nuclear from Russia which would help it fund its war in Ukraine. I’m sure when our former deputy president was having his mysterious prolonged stay in Russia, it was simply because the Kremlin offers the best medical services.
Apart from long-term comrades like Russia, we know that centuries-old liberation struggles like the ANC’s require young blood to sustain their struggle. And so, let us introduce you to a relatively new comrade in the struggle against foreign forces, the Turkish company Karadeniz Energy Group. Our Turkish comrades have been liberating people across the world through their powerships programme. In their wake, they have left a trail of true success stories.
- In Lebanon, Karadeniz is accused of paying commissions to a company linked to politically connected businessmen. Lebanon’s financial public prosecutor impounded the two ships it operates in that country as surety for a potential $25-million fine.
- In Pakistan, a Karadeniz subsidiary stands accused of paying politically connected middlemen more than $5-million to clinch a five-year contract worth $565-million. The deal was rescinded by the country’s Supreme Court in 2012, setting off an epic seven-year legal battle and an ongoing corruption investigation.
I’m sure we won’t see similar corruption happening here. It’s not like Mantashe’s former director-general had to quit in disgrace amidst powership corruption scandals or anything. Even the President’s own economic advisory council recognised Mantashe’s skills in rigging the tender process to favour Karpowership over cleaner, more affordable, more job-creating alternatives like renewable energy.
Unfortunately, those counter-revolutionaries at Eskom were unreasonably demanding that anti-corruption measures be put in place. We can’t allow Eskom to stand in the way of Karpowership’s attempts to liberate the South African people of more than R200-billion of their hard-earned money.
The real foreign forces destroying our future
Comrades, now that we have learnt about our allies in the fight against foreign forces, it is time we identified the true foreign forces ruining South Africa’s future. It may seem hard to believe, but the real insidious foreign forces hoodwinking the people of South Africa, are the people of South Africa. Yes, the people of South Africa are the real foreign agents.
Like every foreign-funded agent before them, these so-called people of South Africa are demanding things like clean, affordable and reliable energy. Representing a clearly foreign agenda, they are asking that the government do its job and fix Eskom.
Those foreign forces are made up of devious entities like trade unions, mining-affected communities and nonprofit organisations. Perhaps worst of all, they are being led by young people pretending to be angry that their future has been sold off so that an elite few can profiteer off the collapse of our economy, our ecosystems and our country.
One of the most nefarious tools that these so-called people of South Africa have been using against our visionary leader Gwede Mantashe is something called evidence. For example, they use studies from actual economists which show that if the government hadn’t killed off our renewable energy industry, we could have avoided load shedding, brought energy costs down, and saved billions of rands.
They refuse to believe Mantashe’s vision that development must be “painful”, and involve destroying the very environment that people rely on to survive. Instead, they point out that South Africa is already one of the world’s most polluting countries, and in exchange, the pain we get is being one of the most unequal, jobless, and poverty-stricken societies in the world.
These impimpis are spreading malicious information about how we can solve our energy crisis, reduce pollution and create jobs and economic opportunities through the green industrialisation of South Africa. They are clearly foreign agents intent on undermining South Africa’s future.
That’s why Mantashe is right to sound the alarm. Now is the time to change legislation to muzzle the voices of civil society and prevent them from getting in the way of the ANC’s continuous, and glorious, march towards progress. The last thing we need is democracy getting in the way of Mantashe and his comrades.
Now. Jokes aside. This is deadly serious. Activists and citizens across the country are being intimidated, silenced and killed for standing up for a better future.
Now, one of the most powerful ministers in the country, who holds immense sway over the ANC, is floating the idea of changing legislation to stifle civil society. We cannot stand for this slide into authoritarianism. The future of our country depends on us fighting back.
Now, let us issue a warning to Mantashe that if he tries to stifle democracy, we will fight back. Mantashe and his ilk have already brought this country into one of its darkest hours. We will not quietly stand by while they try to loot and destroy the rest of the country. It’s time to reclaim and defend people’s power. DM
Alex Lenferna is the general secretary of the Climate Justice Coalition and a postdoctoral research Fellow at the Nelson Mandela University Department of Development Studies.