Opinionista Oscar Van Heerden 13 March 2019

The ANC is under siege – and the time to act is now

The McBride affair may be the ANC’s catharsis. We must expose the real puppetmasters, Mr President. We are dealing with a very sophisticated enemy from within and from without the governing party.

They say war is the continuation of politics by other means, and by god, we are in the thick of a full-blown war right now. The 2017 ANC Nasrec conference victory, which meant the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma and the swearing-in of the next President of the Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa, was merely a battle won. The war is still very much underway.

It was George Chesney at the battle of Dorking in 1871 who said:

And yet we had plenty of warnings, if we had only made use of them. The danger did not come on us unawares. It burst upon us suddenly, ’tis true, but its coming was foreshadowed plainly enough to open our eyes, if we had not been wilfully blind.”

We are dealing with a very sophisticated enemy from within and from without the governing party.

The enemy from without

When the ANC began to advocate in earnest for sanctions against the apartheid regime in the 1980s onwards, the then racist government had to come up with countermeasures and initiate a sanctions-busting campaign.

Needless to say, the government could not be seen to openly advocate such a campaign and hence it colluded with unsavoury characters and in no small measure intelligence operatives, who worked very much outside legal parameters in murky organisations. Stratcom and the Directorate of Covert Collections are two that had such a mandate internationally.

In order to execute the work successfully, the organisations needed to generate resources and monies illegally so the National Party government could have plausible deniability if ever their covert operations should be exposed.

As in the case of Dulcie September and her assassination: She came too close to uncovering such illegal activities and therefore was killed in Paris in 1988. Besides the covert killings, the covert operations also had to establish all manner of illicit trade in drugs, weapons and information.

In other words, an entire criminal underworld had to come about in order to effectively respond to the very successful sanctions campaign of the ANC. But this criminal network also extended beyond just the racists; they happily colluded with the Russians insofar as the diamond trade internationally was concerned.

Yes, on the surface there was the talk of fighting the rooigevaar, meaning the communists, but in the underworld, they were partners in crime.

Similarly, there was the involvement of operatives/people from the former liberation organisations such as the ANC, PAC, and others who colluded with these criminals. Former homelands supporters are also very much a part of the network. Today, they are still active in our ranks.

Their mission is to destroy the democratic epoch, hence the targeting of the ANC as the governing party. You see, these criminals thrive when there is chaos, when there is massive corruption in the police service and our intelligence services.

Their insatiable appetite for more profits means that they are actively still trying to destabilise the state. Yes, they do so because they did not sign up for the huge changes that came about with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, they did not sign up for a democratic era after the announcement of FW De Klerk in February 1990 and they certainly did not sign up for the first democratic elections in 1994, where state power was transferred to the black majority.

They remain determined, Mr President, determined to undermine the socio-political project we as South Africans are still engaged in. The past nine years saw them in nirvana, they loved it, and Bell Pottinger, the Guptas and Bosasa were manna from heaven.

The situation could not have been more blissful, until you and David Mabuza threw a spanner in the works, for them, at the elective conference of the ANC in Nasrec 2017. They needed a response, fast.

We are dealing with a very sophisticated enemy from within and from without the governing party.

Wars happen because the ones who start them, think they can win.” (Margaret Atwood, 1995)

The enemy from within

As for inside the ruling party, all manner of ‘coup d’etat’ activities are underway, Mr President. You think by initiating all these commissions that are now exposing many of them — and most are facing criminal charges and possible prosecutions — that they are simply sitting around waiting for their day in court?

No, sir, they are actively conniving and plotting. That is what I would be doing if I were in their shoes. With the threat of my livelihood, jeopardising my family life and a possibility of prison, I would not be waiting around for the NPA to come knocking.

A starting point as a countermeasure is to want to discredit the very people you are using to execute such a clean-up strategy.

In comes Robert McBride, a cadre of the movement who has done the most despicable acts for our organisation; he who stood on death row for us for five agonising years, never knowing when his name might be called out in order to be led down to the gallows. He who defended the ANC HQ when IFP supporters wanted to storm the building in 1994, he who was a committed combatant of the people’s army, uMkhonto weSizwe, and daringly led his unit into a hospital to engage in a shootout and rescue his commander who had been detained by the apartheid security branch police.

He who has been in the service of this government in various capacities in order to see the realisation of his dreams and that of millions of citizens including the ANC, that of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. If ever there was one of us, it is he, Mr President. And yet we treat him like an enemy, like a criminal, after doing a perfectly good job exposing all manner of wrongdoing in our police services. Targeting criminal elements within the police, he is targeted by our own. Why?

The Minister of Police, who has a gripe against McBride to the extent of refusing to renew his contract, has only been occupying his position for a year and yet he has come to the conclusion that McBride must go. This is a man (Bheki Cele) who left the police services during the Zuma administration under a cloud of fraud and corruption allegations over the irregular procurement of a building for the police in Pretoria.

He put his support behind the CR17 campaign in the run-up to the ANC elective conference in Nasrec and thus made it back into the police, this time as minister.

But these dangerous plotters also discredit others in the Ramaphosa arsenal. The next target: Major-General Jeremy Vearey, head of detective services in the Western Cape. Why him, you might ask. Well, he and Lieutenant-General Peter Jacobs were responsible for the investigation that led to the arrest of police officers responsible for illegally selling of small arms to gangs on the Cape Flats, which fuelled unimaginable violence in those communities.

It turns out that when you do your job correctly, you are demoted. After a successful court bid, both officers were reinstated and subsequently promoted, but that did not stop our sinister forces. Last week they went on an offensive and activated a smear campaign against Vearey.

They alleged that Vearey had kidnapped about 40 people, and tortured at least six, all in six days. Many of these allegations had already been tested in the courts and have been found to be of no substance, yet they persist. As for General Peter Jacobs as the new head of Crime Intelligence, we are just waiting for when he will also become the subject of a smear campaign.

In case you have forgotten, a predecessor at Crime Intelligence was none other than Richard Mdluli, a police officer who faced allegations of fraud and corruption, a man who was dodging allegations of murder during the apartheid era and so much more. Some say if it wasn’t for Mdluli, President Zuma would never have been president of the country. These are some of the people that are not sitting idly by, waiting for the Hawks to come knocking, President Ramaphosa.

They have already dealt a decisive blow to one of our own, Anwa Dramat, former head of the Hawks, fabricating all manner of things such as illegal rendition orders and so on. How many must still be targeted before we see that we are engaging in a war, Mr President, and in case you have not taken stock, these elements from the underworld don’t play according to the rules.

While we might want to operate and conduct ourselves within the confines of the rules and engage in a conventional war, they are employing guerrilla tactics and ignoring the rules of engagement. What are your battle orders, sir?

This war is far from over and all those that stood behind CR17 and ensured his victory must ready themselves again, battle stations must be manned, and everyone must be prepared to fight to the bitter end.

I don’t know whether the ANC will survive this war. Yes, there have been plenty of wars through the decades in the ANC, but this one is destined to determine all our futures.

Such was the crowning triumph of military science, the ultimate explosive that was to give the ‘decisive touch’ to war.” (HG Wells 1914)

I had advocated in previous writings that President Ramaphosa had to tread lightly before this general election if he did not want to upset the apple cart in his own party and that of government.

I realise now that this is precisely the period the enemy is striking at the very heart of CR’s clean-up campaign. They are banking on him and those in his camp to sit still while the water gets hotter and hotter. The time to act is now, Mr President.

As Emmanuel Kant reminds us:

If the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide that war should be declared… nothing is more natural than that they would be very cautious in commencing such a poor game, decreeing for themselves all the calamities of war.”

We need a swift war. Some must be fired from their jobs, some must be expelled from the ANC through disciplinary procedures and others must be arrested and prosecuted urgently so as to neutralise them in this war.

Let this be our catharsis moment, let us rid ourselves of these unprincipled and dangerous elements in our midst. The time is now. History will judge us all. DM

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