South Africa

ANALYSIS

From Zuma to Tom Moyane’s nephew, the MK party is awash with controversy

From Zuma to Tom Moyane’s nephew, the MK party is awash with controversy
Former SA Revenue Service Commissioner Tom Moyane. (Photo: Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander) | Former president Jacob Zuma.(Photo: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie) | Newly formed MK party interim spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela. (Photo: Newzroom Afrika @Newzroom405)

Over the past few days, more information has emerged about the policies and personalities of some of those involved in uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK), the party known mainly because of its campaigner-in-chief, former president Jacob Zuma. The information will not make the people of SA feel less perturbed.

Jacob Zuma, a leading campaigner for the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party, has expressed incendiary views about teenage pregnancies and gay marriage. The party’s other public figure, its spokesperson, Nhlamulo Ndhlela, has confirmed to Daily Maverick that former SA Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane is his uncle, and that he once ran a company that won a SARS contract which was subsequently voided.

In 2016, the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism broke a story that a company controlled by Moyane’s nephew had won a R2.2-billion tax collection contract from SARS that could net him around R220-million.

That nephew was Ndhlela, who as the spokesperson for MK has given dozens of interviews.

In response to questions from Daily Maverick, Ndhlela said, “Tom Moyane is my uncle and it’s known he’s my father’s brother.” 

Asked whether Moyane was involved in the MK party, Ndhlela said, “I don’t know who is involved in MK. I’ve not spoken to him about that.” 

He denied that he did anything wrong when he bid for a contract at SARS in 2016. He said, “On my CV, I stated categorically on my references that Tom Moyane was a reference. With his cell number. I put my ID number there.”

He said that when applying for the contract he had to answer the question, “Do you know anyone that works for government, any person who is part of the ad hoc committee?

“I then say ‘no’. Why do I say ‘no’? Because I don’t know who sits on the ad hoc committee. I know that depending on the type of business they would be a representative of the unit.”  

When it emerged that Ndhlela had won the contract, SARS issued a media statement saying Moyane had not been aware his nephew had bid for it. The contract was eventually voided.

The Nugent Commission later found that Moyane and the consultancy Bain had deliberately weakened SARS and that Bain had diligently billed for its “work”.

It was also known that Moyane and Zuma were close — and that the weakening of SARS was to the benefit of Zuma.

Underground planning

In the meantime, Ndhlela recently said, “It has taken four years of underground planning and working towards setting up what you now see today as a party that is garnering a lot of support from the most ordinary people who actually want to see change.” 

If Zuma was involved in uMkhonto Wesizwe from that time, it would mean he was attending ANC NEC meetings (as an observer) while working for a party that planned to stand against the ANC.  

Meanwhile, Zuma has been quoted by News24 as speaking about teenage pregnancies at an event with traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this week.

He said, “We are going to take the children and fly them … [to Robben Island] so that they can study until they finish and stop this thing [teenage pregnancies].”

The report quoted him as saying that teenage pregnancies were a “disease” and sometimes children have “two, three children, but there is no baby-daddy in sight and they are not married”.

Rape charge and affairs

Zuma may wish to reflect on his personal history.

He had unprotected sexual intercourse with the daughter of a comrade, showered afterwards to protect himself from contracting Aids, and then had to fight a rape charge.

During that case, in 2006, Judge Jeremiah Shongwe had to recuse himself because Zuma had had an affair with the judge’s sister, which led to her giving birth to a son, Edward Zuma. (This did not stop Zuma from appointing Shongwe as the chair of the Electoral Court while he was president.) 

In 2010, Zuma had an affair with Sonono Khoza, which resulted in the birth of one of Irwin Khoza’s grandchildren.

In 2018, a future reality TV star, Nonkanyiso Conco, had a child with Zuma.

She refused to disclose her age, but was believed to be in her mid-20s. Zuma was 78. 

It is not known if he is playing an active role in the upbringing of their child.

However, Ndhlela said sending teenage girls who are pregnant to Robben Island is not official MK policy.

He said, “President Zuma speaks as a father and a grandfather to the youth. So, when he’s speaking in our culture … you need to give examples that will give them some sort of sense of how serious you are. It’s like if you tell your children: ‘If you are continuously naughty, I’ll send you to the moon.’ Sometimes you use exaggeration when you’re speaking to your children. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is our policy.”

Ndhlela appeared to backpedal slightly from Zuma’s comments about gay marriage.

Zuma was quoted as saying, “Where does the law that a man can be in a romantic relationship with another man come from? Who will women be left with? It’s a disgrace.”

Ndhlela said Zuma was answering questions from traditional leaders about this issue and suggested, “This is not something that is coming from President Zuma, and not the first time he has been approached.”

He went on to say, “Customary law is not recognised in the same way that civil marriages are recognised. We have polygamy. Why is it that polygamy is frowned upon, but gay marriage is legal?” 

To be clear, Ndhlela said, “MK is not going to ban gay marriage”, and “decisions must be made by society. It’s not a Zuma or an MK decision on anything or any act or matter in the Constitution.” 

A fundamental problem

This does appear to be at odds with Zuma’s sentiment that gay marriage “is a disgrace”. 

All of this points to a fundamental problem that MK faces.

Despite the fact he did not legally establish MK, Zuma and his image completely overshadow the party. He is the sole source of this party’s prominence — without him, very few people would be talking about it.

As a result, when he makes comments about social issues, people will assume that those are the views of MK.

And because the other leaders reflected on the party’s website do not have a national profile, Zuma is the only person most people will refer to.

The only other person from the party who is quoted regularly is Ndhlela. As a result, his history will be discussed.

All of this makes it easy for MK’s opponents to claim it is simply a vehicle for Zuma’s plans and is motivated only by his frustration at having been removed from power. DM

Read more in Daily Maverick about the MK Party’s debut performances in by-elections: MK takes votes from ANC, EFF in Mpumalanga debut 

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  • Hedley Davidson says:

    Apologies for stating the obvious but a forcing function of teenage pregnancy was and is child grants . Yet another method of making citizens reliable on the state . The end game is, the ANC own all factors of production , all the property , control hospitals , electricity supply , educational instutitions . The caution with this methodology is – if you want to emulate China make sure the population have the same work ethic and skill set and cultural discipline of those you want to emulate . If not , we will fail spectacularly while eating the manual of a misplaced ideology . The looting elite will be impervious to the demise of the country and it enslaved people , as situational awareness has never been their strong point .

  • Johan Buys says:

    In a way it is all quite clever.

    The ANC would never be permitted to take radical stances on illegal immigrants, gay marriage, etc. That costs them votes as there is certainly a substantial “conservative” opinion block in South Africa. So it is handy for the ANC to have its RET faction collect those votes as MK for when after the election the ANC and former prisoner zuma kiss and make up in an alliance that sees a number of the RET people in cadre positions that they would never have had enough support to reach if they were still inside the ANC. Win-win for the party and the RET faction.

  • Lynda Tyrer says:

    The heading was spot on all cheesed off bitter people who are not there for the country or citizens but another group of greedy leeching parasites from the bottom of the barrel. The newly cormed coalition parties need to put their egos aside and make sure not only the anc are out but MK and eff all their agendas are for their own well being and no one else.

  • Richard Bryant says:

    “He had unprotected sexual intercourse with the daughter of a comrade, showered afterwards to protect himself from contracting Aids, and then had to fight a rape charge.”

    Stephen, her name was Fezekile Ntsukela Khuzwayo otherwise known as Khwezi. JZ will remember some cheeky young women who protested at a speech he gave with posters saying “Remember Khwezi”.

    We must remember Khwezi. She had to flee SA because the Zuma hordes including the ANCWL turned on her. She returned to SA some years later, her life destroyed and died a little while later.

    She epitomises everything about Zuma. Something to be abused, stolen from and taken advantage of for personal pleasure. Regardless of the result and destruction it causes. And then just have a shower to wash away the shame and move on. Not an ounce of remorse. Narcissism personified.

    • Brian H says:

      Well said. The abhorrent way Khwezi was treated certainly does epitomize everything we need to know about Jacob Zuma and his followers.

      • Alan Paterson says:

        What happened to this poor woman was hideous and I also remember the then ANCL’s Julius “we will kill for Zuma” Malema at the forefront of the ravening crowd. But for many history is being erased on a daily basis.

    • Just Me says:

      Correct. Also don’t forget James Seipei (“also known as Stompie Moeketsi or Stompie Sepei, was a teenage United Democratic Front activist from Parys, South Africa. He and three other boys were kidnapped on 29 December 1988 by members of Winnie Mandela’s bodyguards. He was murdered on 1 January 1989, the only one of the boys to be killed”).

    • Nick Griffon says:

      Kwezi must never be forgotten.
      She was truly the despicable ANCWL’s darkest hour.
      That will forever be the ANCWL’s legacy.

  • mike van wyk says:

    The so-called MK Party, which lends it’s name from the the so-called ‘struggle’ militia group uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK), a rag-tag assembly of armed militia with a somewhat questionable past, which to this day is often rolled out to rabble rouse and sabre rattle when the ANC feels threatened. As MK was formally de-mustered/’decommissioned’ (as was the SADF) by the newly formed SANDF in the early stages of SA’s democracy post 1994; it is questionable that the MK still exists and often parades as a ‘standing’ militia. Formally the MK exists on paper officially as a military veteran association – nothing more. Its role within the Military Veterans is rather checkered to say the least. In fact there has been a rather raucous ‘division’ within the MK role as a military veterans association – same-old-same – arguments over who shares the booty offered under the auspicious of the Military Veterans Act and its Department. Therefore against this backdrop, its questionable why Zuma would find its necessary to associate with MK and form a political party under the same name. Would Zuma use this party and its rag-tag militia to sow the seeds of military style political insurrection? Seems a fair question.

  • Bayford Cox says:

    Couldn’t wait to delete this article!! Zuma is the biggest criminal this country has produced (against some strong opposition) – a despicable person who has looted every SOE to almost bankruptcy! I can’t believe the press give him the time of day.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Underground planning…ah in the sewers of KZN no doubt.

  • Ken Randell says:

    Even if Zuma has personal ambitions within MK and his future after the 2024 elections, my understanding is that he cannot be an MP and thus not President. That’s because, ito the Constitution, if anyone “..is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine…” is precluded from being a member of the National Assembly. Unfortunately, however, “A disqualification under this paragraph ends five years after the sentence has been completed.” In Zuma’s case, the only open issue around the 5 year disqualification period is when his sentence was “completed” At least for these 2024 election results, he remains constrained by the Constitution.

    • Richard Bryant says:

      And after the 5 year disqualification period, he will be constrained by biology. I know he thinks he is a bull, a president and a king. But at age 87 he will just be a bitter old man waiting to join his ancestors.

  • Rae Earl says:

    Zuma is a cultural hero to a percentage of the population. That percentage sees no harm in his accepting millions in bribes from the arms deal. It also sees no harm in his attempted sale of South Africa to the Gupta brothers. It accepts that treasonous behaviour and deep seated corruption is just fine in the leader of their country. The man is now being manipulated by his carers and the situation is goddam awful. Imagine if they ruled the country. Red carpet for the Guptas return and goodbye to all our SOE’s. Forever. This is evil personified.

  • Brendan Temple says:

    It blows my mind how rotten politicians are. It seems to bring out the worst of the worst. Mandela is just a distant fading memory now!

    God help humanity, we going to need it!

  • Fernando Moreira says:

    Just vote DA

  • William Dryden says:

    The DA must get into gear and inform the poor masses that have been brainwashed all about Zuma and his evil deeds, and the ANC’s failed promises.

  • David Walker says:

    The voters of South Africa generally do not understand or care about corruption. The ANC has been just as awash with controversy and yet the majority vote them in time and again. If they were not perturbed about Zuma before (he was elected president twice), then MK won’t perturb them in the slightest.

    • Michael Thomlinson says:

      Absolutely right David, but one must remember that we have access to news on radio, TV and the internet but a vast majority of people do not even have a radio and rely on word of mouth and the occasional newspaper for news. Besides this I think the daily struggle to put bread on the table supersedes any worry about about what our devious politicians are getting up to.

      • David Walker says:

        I agree, Michael. And add to that limited numeracy, such as a lack of understanding actually how much a million or a billion rand is. But opposition parties need to relentlessly point out that the daily struggle for bread is made that much harder when ANC politicians continuously steal from the coffers.

  • Malcolma Wyngaard says:

    I’m thinking aloud…….why would anybody take these loonies seriously? Let alone vote for them and their garbage ideology??? Blimey zoom zoom…..go retire with the 2% dignity that you might still have left, and ask forgiveness from your ancest🙏🙏

  • Acwam 58 says:

    Nearly all men can stand up to adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
    – Abraham Lincoln.

  • Peter Worman says:

    JZ is a fine example to talk about teenage pregnancies etc having fathered dozens of legitimate and illegitimate children. Unfortunately JZ is a wily leader who could cause some serious chaos so we need to take his seriously

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Spot on Peter we are in serious trouble and this smells of a messy end.
      This is the continuation of the state capture project, billions disappeared with no leads, weapons disappeared including a full container in one of the ports of entry.
      MK is not coming out of nowhere, look at the characters involved.

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