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Zondo commission: The chickens have come home to roost...

Defend Truth


Zondo commission: The chickens have come home to roost and there is no place to hide

By Pule Mabe
24 Jun 2022 18

Pule Mabe is ANC's National Spokesperson and Head of the Department of Information and Publicity.

The rogue comrades betrayed the trust that was placed in the ANC by our people. They stole from the masses of our people even at a time when state resources were meant to uplift and empower our people from centuries of oppression and denial of opportunities.


(First published in ANC Today)

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo this week delivered his final report of his inquiry into state capture.

Over 5,000 pages, the Zondo Commission – named after its chairperson Chief Justice Raymond Zondo – goes into forensic detail about the way state resources were plundered.

It also shows how the wealthy businessmen, the Gupta brothers, tried to influence political and economic decisions in a process known as “state capture”.

The African National Congress pledged its cooperation with the commission from the onset and took the nation into its confidence with regard to the path we had trodden.

There are few ruling political parties in Africa and the world who would have countenanced such a path wherein our own soul and being as an organisation would have been put up to scrutiny.

Indeed, elsewhere in the world and on our continent, the so-called Big Men would have swept the dirt under the carpet.

The ANC chose a different path and the South African society would be richer for it.

The final volumes of the report that resulted from the Zondo commission were handed over on Wednesday.

It is important at this juncture to trace the origins of how we arrived at this crossroads.

Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, when her tenure was reaching its zenith, deigned that a commission would be necessary to unravel the capture of key institutions of our government.

The commission was set up in 2018, with then-Deputy Chief Justice Zondo given the mammoth task of hearing testimony to unravel the vicissitudes of the behind-the-scenes skullduggery perpetrated by our own comrades.

Initially slated to take place over 180 days, the hearings stretched to more than 400 days during which more than 300 witnesses testified. The whole process took nearly four years.

The evidence revealed how ANC leaders, including former and current ministers, allegedly participated or encouraged looting at a massive cost to the country.

This included crippling the country’s revenue service, bringing the national carrier South African Airways to its knees, looting the agency that runs the country’s passenger railways, and interfering with the public broadcaster, the SABC.

The secret service was also weakened through the appointment of senior spies who prevented investigations from taking place.

The ANC has always prioritised transparency above anything that we do because we sought to distinguish ourselves and reign from the previous supremacist and racist regime.

The people of South Africa are better off knowing what was done in their name.

The sins of incumbency since the ANC came into power in 1994 have undoubtedly brought about the calibre of cadre the ANC can do without.

In our ranks lurks self-interest comrades who were willing to do their master’s bidding and sacrifice the principles Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Oliver Tambo and many of our stalwarts stood for.

The rogue comrades betrayed the trust that was placed in the ANC by our people. They stole from the masses of our people even at a time when state resources were meant to uplift and empower our people from centuries of oppression and denial of opportunities.

We applaud Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for the sterling work he managed under trying circumstances wherein he and his team faced unprecedented challenges.

As previously demonstrated when we embarked on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the early days of our democracy, no issue will be swept under the carpet.

The State Capture Commission was given leeway to examine and microscope every facet of the malfeasance that happened under the nose of our people.

The 54th National Conference was elected on a promise of renewal and unity. It took cognisance that the sins of incumbency had crept into our movement and threatened the very soul of what the ANC stood for for over a century.

This was not an exercise in futility. It was painful and unpleasant. It is important to urge every upright cadre and comrade of the ANC to see the wood for the trees.

The capture of our state by a motley crowd from our ranks was shameful and unhistorical.

It stood against the ethos that this great movement is about.

However, this gives us a moment to pause and self-correct.

The renewal process we embarked upon post-Nasrec is well underway.

Those who have been fingered as vital corks that fuelled state capture must face the music.

Clearly, they had forgotten umrhabulo that was embedded in us by our forebears.

The struggle was never about self-interest but the emancipation of our people.

Of course, there will be much consternation and fight back from those who have been fingered in Justice Zondo’s findings.

As a democracy, those would be given the opportunity to defend themselves and take us into their confidence whose interests they were serving.

We welcome and acknowledge the report by the Chief Justice and re-dedicate ourselves to ensuring that a few bad apples do not derail the transformation project.

The renewal and unity of the ANC and South Africa is on track. DM


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All Comments 18

  • Prioritized transparency. I suppose openly instructing your cadres and MP to not have a conscience and tow the party line is being transparent, irrespective of the immorality of the instruction…. You have to laugh 😂 if only it wasn’t that serious… and you’re still defending the organization and enabled all this. You need some introspection… can’t you instruct them to be moral and tell the truth or is that a bridge to far… Anoj Singh for example or Zuma the apex of your institution… just what are you transparent about? Your organization is a bunch of criminals.

  • What a load of nonsense!!! The ANC was at the forefront of fighting corruption and leading the charge against state capture??? Amnesia on steroids!! Only a truly blind and moronic cadre of this abominable party that it has become could believe such crap. Patronisingly glossing over the massive and deep failure of endemic corruption of the 9 wasted years of Zuma, added to the many more years now. Mr Mabe – your pathetic, inept and miserable ANC was dragged, kicking and screaming, to finally react, ONLY lest you lost power, on the perverse and all-consuming theft and grand corruption foisted on this country. It is thanks ONLY to the media, public, NGOs such as Outa, Helen Suzan Foundation, Kathrada Foundation etc etc and Thuli Madonsela that accountability is finally starting to happen. Your party, your majority in parliament, your members not only massively enabled corruption, theft, nepotism, impunity etc BUT you also protected and shielded the despicable Zuma and his rapacious hyenas for ages. Whilst I welcome this new assessment and hopefully reality, and endorse that all involved must be jailed, taking credit for the fight back on systematic corruption is NO thanks to the ANC! You do not deserve to be the government – your party is a criminal, corrupt and predatory syndicate, like the vile Putin’s Russia that is so admired and blindly supported by your party. The ANC needs to be charged for high treason to this country and consigned to the rubbish heap! Forever!

  • “We re-dedicate ourselves to ensuring that a few bad apples do not derail the transformation project”…there is so much wrong with the ANC and its governing ability and policies, I think most are of the opinion that unless those who are guilty are both fired, and ‘dealt with’ by the law, and within a short space of time (like 12 months), why should the organisation be given any MORE chances at all? A normal corporation would have fired it’s malfeasant and/or inept personnel and got on with the job of running a functioning and evolving company. It’s only in politics of a nation where an extreme departure from this reasonable norm is evident?

  • What a load of crock, all you doing is pacifying your readers with pretty words, until someone is locked up the Zondo commission was just a waste of money, the country is falling apart around us, from municipalities to the railway agency to Eskom and all the anc is doing is to fight for position at the trough for December, wake up anc this beautiful country is falling apart due to your inability to be held accountable and don’t tell me a you’re “self correcting “ because all the evidence shows we’re worse off every day

  • Find words to the subscriber to your newsletter, but I fear many more than a few bad apples Mr Mabe. Who will toss them from the basket, I wonder? Given your organisations leadership crises what machinery will be necessary to force the change?

  • Comrade Pule writes in all seriousness.
    Conveniently forgetting his role as an ANC spin doctor in chief and fudger of the truth.
    The fish is rotten all the way from the head to the tail.
    “Self correct” my ass.

  • Pule, You have side-stepped and ignored the fact that the ANC itself, as an organisation was actively and complicity involved in, and a beneficiary of “The State Capture Project”. Further, you need to read very carefully Ferial Haffajee’s excellent article in the same Daily Maverick edition, and take on board the reality that cadre deployment was both illegal and unconstitutional.

    We all benefit, as individuals and as a society, when the best, most competent are placed in the most strategic and important positions, yet the ANC, as an organisation, has, and still continues to slavish so do, place its friends, connected cadres into all positions of power, irrespective of competence or integrity, under the twin guiding mantras of BEE and cadre deployment – both of which are contrary to our constitution.

    The Zondo Commission has laid bare the real cost to us all – every single South African of this folly – of this centrist, state, all-controlling approach to both economic matters and the way societies are managed sheepishly to act as an amorphous mass. It destroyed Eastern Europe thanks to both Fascism and Stalinism – both of which, rather than being left or right, both sought to centralise all power and decision-making in the state.

    Yet, judging from Pule’s analysis in the article, the right lessons are still not being learnt; this is not a few rogue individuals within the ANC, but rather both the ANC itself, and the centrist approach to managing society and our economy.

    Pule’s thinking, and by extension that of the ANC itself, is so wrapped up in racism (clearly he and the ANC are so convinced of the incompetence of black people, they must forever be given every advantage and leg-up and white people denied any opportunity, lest by their competence they might “prove” the ANC’s inherent racist thinking), that they are incapable of realising that actually adopting the supposed non-racial philosophy that the ANC avowedly claims to champion, might actually allow our economy to flourish, jobs to be created, the tax base to grow, municipalities to be well-run.

    In short, our country does not need to just weed out a few rogue crooks, though charging the crooks is of course fundamentally necessary, but rather to have a total root and branch re-think to the way our country is run and structured – and to properly confine to the dustbin the racial thinking that clearly still shapes ANC thinking, much as it believes it has discarded Apartheid – it has not – it has rather fully embraced it, though of course now in reverse!

  • This is like the fox commenting on the missing chickens. I didn’t expect this publication to publish such absurd utterances from an organization, the ANC who fought tooth and nail to cover their crimes while they closed ranks. Why insult our intelligence?

  • You gotta love the way corrupt cadres write about corrupt cadres as though we all stupid.

    Just Google ‘Pule Mabe corruption’ – makes me want to 🤮

  • No. It isn’t. If it were underway, as you put it, the entire leadership of the ANC would admit culpability and resign. Spin this anyway you like sir, but I didn’t believe you then, and I don’t believe you now.

  • Nice try to convince Saffers that state capture was just the work of a few rogue ANC members. Wrong! It was the work of just about the entire ANC, it’s cadres and suppoerters. There are very few people in the ANC who can claim that their hands are clean and/or that they did not know this was happening and/or that they tried their best to prevent this happening.

  • Bullshit. “Transparency” is a dirty word to the ANC, just like “Federalism”. The cadre deployment committee and its functioning proves this beyond any doubt. Face it, ANC, your pretence of benevolent bottom-up Socialism has been completely hijacked by tyrannical top-down Marxism. Your movement is nothing less than a catastrophic failure. The state of the country’s economy proves this beyond any doubt. I only hope I live long enough to see the dishonourable and shameful demise that the ANC deserves – relegated to the history books and used only as an example of how NOT to govern.

  • Old Pule likes to gaan on, doesn’t he! ANC transparency, Pule. What’s you take on the Arms Deal which set the path to how your upstanding members could rob us blind and get away with it, how supportive will you be when that, eventually, comes up again after the last commission on it was over-ruled by the courts? Only a handful of you can be trusted at best and that doesn’t include the bloke in charge at the moment as he now seems as bent as the rest of you. Your party name should change to the LTC for the liars, thieves and crooks that you are.

  • If by a ‘few rotten apples’ you mean to include the current leader of your organisation … who in polite language ‘lied’ about his complicity in ‘capture’ by omission at the inquiry – despicable really for a person with a legal background , you are on the right track ! BUT … that refutes your notion of a ‘few’ doesn’t it ? Maybe you need to do a serious re-assessment, which seems implausible ! The soul of an ANC of Madiba is long lost, and has been taken over by a huge if not overwhelming majority of rent seekers . How prescient Madiba was when he said that if the ANC does to the people of SA what the apartheid regime did (not thinking or maybe hoping it does not happen) … you must do to it what you did with the apartheid regime ! That time is now.

  • What a crock of sh%@& Pule has written here! If Pule has an honest hair on his body why are state capture crooks still in Cyril’s cabinet? Why is cadre deployment still a keystone of ANC policy? Why is the ANC closing ranks around Cyril’s Farmgate scandal? Because fokol in the ANC is changing. It’s all just smoke and mirrors! Roll on 2024 when a real change will happen!

  • “The ANC has always prioritised transparency above anything that we do because we sought to distinguish ourselves and reign from the previous supremacist and racist regime” – mmm, no. No it didn’t. As glad as I am to see voices within the ANC denouncing the looters and corrupt, you cannot whitewash the complicity of the ANC as an organisation and as a political party from the destruction wrought on South Africa. The ANC, over and above (many) specific individuals operating under its banner, is complicit in and accountable for state capture and the shocking collapse of our SOE, municipalities, ministerial portfolios, state institutions and some of our chapter 9 institutions.

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