Title: Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (15: Opportunism)
Gabriel P Louw
Extraordinary Researcher, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa (Author and Researcher: Healthcare, History and Politics).
Prof. Dr. GP Louw; MA (UNISA), PhD (PU for CHE), DPhil (PU for CHE), PhD (NWU)
Keywords: Confidence, desperate, elite, liberty, opportunist, perspective, power, recapitalisation, venture, revolutionary.
Ensovoort, volume 40 (2019), number 11: 6
Various definitions are offered on the word opportunism. The word is repeatedly redefined by businessmen and doubtful politicians as the “theory of discovering and pursing opportunities”, mostly because of their dislike for the idea that there “could ever be anything wrong with their motivated and ongoing capitalising on the many opportunities that cross their ways”.1:2 From a moral perspective, this is seen as nothing else than self defense. As in politics, this makes it easy to commit enormous delinquencies because the law is not applied in the absence of an efficient police force or prosecuting authority. The failures of these institutions are mostly manipulated by a crooked regime to let them off the hook from prosecution, as reflected by the Zuma regime’s contamination of the political system with hooliganism. What these opportunists, especially the crooked politicians, are not saying is that the others involved in these “grand” schemes are mostly vulnerable people who are lacking resources and knowledge to develop their own opportunities.
The unfortunate players in the political system are governed by a group racially and culturally similar to them. These vulnerable people blindly trust their government, as they were the so-called liberators of their people from their suppressors. En masse, black people accepted the ANCelite as the extraordinary leaders who had freed them from Apartheid. The poor and disadvantaged black people, in their pre-1994 socio-economic and political confusion, were not aware of their liberators’ broader context. The ANC was a political orphan, born out of a Marxist-Leninist ideology, thereby becoming an harsh, self-serving and unscrupulousness machine in adulthood. It is a revolutionary organisation which lacks honesty and humanity, and the ability to create and to develop the country beyond nepotism for its elite and their comrades. These communist ideas remain deeply rooted in their approach, as they were (and are still) extreme opportunists, to the detriment of the state. The various judicial commissions of the ANC from 1994 to 2019 indicate their chaotic governance. The delinquent ANC party gaining power in the country in 1994 was partly accomplished through the systematic misconduct of the naive Apartheid’s regime.2-8
Thirty-two years ago, in 1987, Villa-Vicencio8 already warned the potential voters of the approaching 1994 elections that they need to know what Marxist-Leninist socialism means in politics, especially if a similarly orientated political party obtain power. He writes8:91:
Marxist-Leninist socialism (also known as communism) is committed to the abolition of the oppressive and exploitative concentration of power and wealth in the bourgeoisie and the creation of the equality of a ‘classless society’ brought about by the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ – in fact the dictatorship of the leadership elite of the communist party. Practice has shown that while a totalitarian state is capable of enforcing a more egalitarian distribution of income, this may occur at the expense of liberty and productivity. State planning seems to be less efficient than the results produced by the free play of the market mechanism. The prescriptions of an incompetent and clumsy bureaucracy stifle initiative and versatility and devour resources, while the concentration of power in the hands of a few is even more fearful than that in the free enterprise system.
Villa-Vicencio’s8:91 aforementioned problematic traits of a communist regime (like the presence of a dictatorship of the “leadership elite with the concentration of power in the hands of a few”, the “losing of liberty and productivity”, the “degrading of state planning and doing“, “the devour of resources”, the presence of an “incompetent and clumsy bureaucracy”, etc.) mirror all of the regime-markers of the ANC-regime, over the course of twenty-five years. It illuminates why there was state capture, why there was cadre-deployment and why the ANC-elite, in their constant and ongoing embezzling of other’s assets, are extreme opportunists. The post-1994 ANC elite became a kind of systematic aristocracy; the new lords and ladies who, as the old colonists did, are taking from the poor, indigenous people in terms of their “theory of discovering and pursing opportunities”.8
Martinez5 also indirectly contributes to an understanding of this robbing of the poor by the ANC elite, driven by their excessive opportunism. He prominently identifies how people are driven from their land and traditional living areas because of poverty and other negative circumstances, resulting in the people and their lawfully-gained assets to become the victims of the “opportunists” or elite. He writes5:153: “There is nothing voluntary about this process. Indeed, it’s hard to see the original appropriation and privatisation of commonly owned resources as anything but theft”.
Martinez5 quotes a paragraph that reflects the resentment from that time, against the exploitation of the poor’s resources and assets by political opportunists. The paragraph reads5:153:
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greatest villain loo
Who steals the common from the goose.
The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.
Since the new Dispensation in 1994, the ANC regime’s projects were saturated with corruption and theft. Especially land projects financed by the state, such as projects that transfer land back to the legal Black owners, have been especially corrupt. A handful of senior ANC elites especially stand out. In light of Martinetz’s5 and Villa-Vicencio’s8 aforementioned descriptions, it is important to begin identifying the many “looters” inside the ANC elite through a thorough understanding of opportunism and the characteristics thereof.
A broad definition of opportunism describes a situation where a person or a group capitalises on the missteps of others. This means that opportunists aim to exploit the opportunities created by the errors, weaknesses or distractions of their opponents to their own advantage. This can be understood as the conscious and self-serving practice of taking advantage of circumstances. Furthermore, human opportunism mostly occurs where people can gain the most for themselves at the least cost to themselves. Rooted in this definition of opportunism is the specific and identifiable response to opportunities: the response has elements of excessive self-interest in combination with the disregard of ethical principles, intended or agreed-upon goals, or the shared concerns of a group. When functioning like this (overriding ethics, goals and concerns), a group cannot be virtuous.1
More precise descriptions include ideas such as1:1:
“Opportunism is the practice of taking advantage of circumstances – with little regards for principles or with what the consequences are for others. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives. The term can be applied to individual humans and living organisms, groups, organizations, styles, behaviours, and trends”.
The above definition of opportunism is made more comprehensive and applicable to actions taken by opportunists by the following1:2:
…the moral dilemma implied by opportunism concerns the conflict of self-interest with the interests of others, or with following a principle: either to do what one wants, or to do “what is the right thing to do”. Thus, substantively, opportunism refers to someone who acts on opportunities in a self-interested, biased or one-sided manner that conflicts or contrasts in some way with one or more general rule, law, norm, or principle.
The fact that self-interested action evokes this conflict often implies that the tendency to use opportunities to advantage is excessive or improper, the corollary being a deficiency of character or at least a lack of propriety. Hence the term opportunism often has the pejorative connotation of morally unsound behaviour, or behaviour that sacrifices a greater good for the sake of gaining an advantage foe oneself or one’s own group. Moralists may have distaste for opportunism, insofar as opportunism implies the violation of a moral principle.
It is often difficult for an outsider to understand why an action or an idea is (or is not) “opportunist”, because the outsider does not know the whole story, or the whole context, or the true intention behind it. The way things appear can give an impression which is quite different from the real motivation that is behind it.
A third definition reads1:2:
As a style of human behaviour, opportunism has the connotation of a lack of integrity, or doing something that is out of character (inconsistent). The underlying thought is that the price of the unrestrained pursuit of selfishness is behavioural inconsistency. Thus, opportunism involves compromising some or other principle normally upheld. However, the boundary between “legitimate self-interest” and “undesirable (or anti-social) selfishness” can be difficult to define; the definition may depend on one’s point of view, or position in life.
Some people regard an opportunist stance positively as a legitimate choice, which can be the lesser evil.
Looking to some of the ANC elite’s ongoing and constant delinquent behaviour since 1994 (or since they’ve held legitimate political power), the primary characteristic of opportunism is the lack of integrity and the failure to uphold moral principles. Excessive improper behaviour comprises the principles that are normally upheld, and the presence of anti-social selfishness and the intention to gain an advantage for the self and/or the group ignores the interests and rights of others outright. General rules, laws, norms or other established and accepted principles are violated. The deficiency of character, or at least a lack of propriety, is also applicable inside this definition on some of the ANC elite’s personal functioning.
This aforementioned description1 of the ANC elite’s opportunism, together with the Louw10 checklist markers, will be the criteria used in the evaluation and exploration of opportunism as reflected by members of the ANC’s elite.
Opportunism mostly takes place when internal and external boundaries of behaviour are absent in individuals or groups, and they are pressured to choose and act. In this context, it must be noted that the majority of ANC members and their the leaders were financially underprivileged upon returning to South Africa after 1994. Even their new salaries as MPs, MPLs, ministers and the relatively higher president’s salary did not negate the challenging years of fighting the Apartheid regime without an income. The opportunity to make fast, large sums of money for their own benefit through various forms of state capture (such as the arms deal, the stealing of land, etc.) became attractive to many of the ANC elite. These decisions were also made under pressure, as they took power in 1994. Furthermore, the looting through opportunism created a new habit, custom and tradition inside the ANC elite. This new tradition built on the aforementioned belief that the struggle against Apartheid and their subsequent financial suffering needed to be compensated for in some way. For many ANC members, the role of political opportunists became a choice to serve as a vehicle for self-enrichment on the same basis as many businessmen justifying their crooked roles as opportunists: practicing the theory of discovering and pursuing opportunities. By this token, the political opportunism in the ANC is redefining entrepreneurship as a euphemism for opportunism.
Regarding evidence of the immense (and successful) instances of political opportunism in the ANC’s make-up, the late Jackie Selebi serves as a prime example of looting and delinquency. Books by Myburgh5, Pauw7, and Basson and Du Toit2 are in-depth studies of the facts and details of the ANC’s lawless behaviour. It must also be noted that the ANC’s direct involvement in numerous acts of terrorism and murder before 1994 has an impact on their present day operations; their present moral framework possibly influenced be these extremes. Looking back to the mid-1990s, where the ANC elites were settling in to their new political and executive empowerment, many kinds of “opportunities” were suddenly at hand. Clearly, many members could not refuse the financial reward. Furthermore, the money to be gained often did not require a high level of education on the part of the opportunist. In these circumstances, and inside the inner circle of the ANC, the small group of ANC opportunists developed. From here, the opportunist members and their benefactors were strategically and systematically developed and deployed through cadre-, MK- and friends-and-family-appointments. This can be seen in the capture of ESKOM, SAA, SABC as well as in other state enterprises and the creation of external role players, such as the Guptas and Bosasa that manage and guide opportunistic corruption. [One must consider this unique and sometimes strange behaviour of the ANC’s inner circle within the definition of opportunism that claims it is often difficult for an outsider to understand why an action or an idea is (or is not) “opportunist”. The outsider does not know the full story, or the whole context and the true intentions].1,4-8
The presence of possible psychopathy or psychopathology in the behaviour of some of the ANC elite (either inherent or as a result of extreme situations such as terrorist activities) must also be considered. Gumede4 opens the discussion for possible effects of psychopathy, or at least some form of psychopathology, apparent in the ANC’s history over 25 years. This possible pathology reflects on the leadership as well as the followers of the ANC when Gumede argues why psychopathology in politics took seat in South Africa. He writes4:18:
Mass trauma such as colonialism and apartheid, combined with chronic poverty and unemployment distort the way people make decisions including about how they will vote. The trauma of colonialism and apartheid ends up delivering many maladjusted black leaders who mimic the behaviour of their former white oppressors – cynical exploitation, callousness and dishonesty. At the same time, many of the formerly oppressed tolerate exploitative and corrupt black leaders because although they may be useless, they are at least black – supposedly “one of us”.
Mass trauma has instilled in many black communities’ fear, anger and resentment towards the former colonial and apartheid elites. Not surprisingly, many formerly oppressed see the world as a continuing black/white division between former governing elites (the “insiders”) and the formerly disadvantaged (the “outsiders”).
Yet, as African leaders and governments become entrenched in power, they become the new insiders, the oppressors, only now they are black.
The poor black majority of course remain the outsiders, but because their corrupt, autocratic and incompetent leaders are black and espouse anti-colonial beliefs, black voters see them not as insiders but as part of the “oppressed” group.
Zuma became very wealthy. Many SACP, EFF and trade union leaders are nouveau riche. Yet, they are seen by many poor black supporters as being on their side against privileged white or foreign “interests”.
1.1. Introduction (Continued from Article 14)
Article 15 is a continuation of the previous article 14, titled: “Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (14: Accountability)”. This article is in sequence with articles 11 to 14, which were already published on the ANC. The intention is to analyse and discuss further arguments, opinions and viewpoints on the integrity and the ability of the ANC to carry out land expropriation successfully, as reflected by its CVs and Attestations.
1.2. Aims of article 15 (Continued from Article 14)
The primary intention of this project on the ANC is to continue the reflection on the three main political parties by profiling the ANC on the same basis that was applied to the EFF (Article 9) and the DA (Article 10).
In this article, the primary aim is to determine how opportunism has impacted the viewpoints and behaviour of some of the ANC elite as well as the ruling of the ANC regime as the mandated ruler of South Africa.
2. Method (Continued from Article 14)
The research was conducted by means of a literature review. This method aims to construct a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is often used in modern political-historical research where there is no established body of research, as is the case regarding the abilities of political parties to successfully apply land reformation from 2019 onward. The sources included articles from 2018, books from the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers from the period 2017 to 2019. These sources were consulted to evaluate and to describe the facts that will guide South Africans when evaluating the suitability of the ANC as the ruler of South Africa to perform successful land reform from 2019.
The research findings have been presented in narrative format.
3. Results and discussion
The presence of opportunism in the actions of some of the ANC elite became apparent during the various judicial commissions of inquiry on state capture. The Zondo commission’s testimonies show clear criminal behaviour that can be followed up by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecution Authority (NPA). The media’s reports on the Zondo commission are substantial in both the quantity of articles and the amount of content. The full amount and detail of the judicial commissions that uncover the ANC elite’s opportunism from 1994 to 2019 is impossible to include in an article with a prescribed word limitation, such as this one. For the purposes of this article, it is more appropriate to concentrate on clear examples of the unprincipled exploitation and ill-planned misuse of the impoverished black communities and all members of the public, through such criminal activities such as land grabbing from other black people and other self-enrichment schemes, such as salaries and benefits.
In this article the public referees of the African National Congress will further be reflected upon, evaluated and described in division 3.3: The African National Congress: Perspective 1994 to 2019. This division focuses on the acceptance and the practice of opportunism as a lifestyle by the ANC elite.
3.2. Louw Appraisal Checklist
The Louw Appraisal Checklist to Assess the Leadership Qualities of South Africa’s Executive Political Leaders and Regimes: 1652 to 2018,10 will be used for the quantitative classification and measuring of the political records of the ANC. The 82 selective items of the checklist on leaders and governments, quantified in terms of its bad-versus-good-classification, was applied to all information collected in the literature review of the party’s’ manifesto and the writings of investigative journalists, political commentators and political analysts. Lastly, these findings are interpreted by the researcher.10
3.3. The African National Congress: Perspective 1994 to 2019 (Continued from article 14)
3.3.1. ANC’s opportunism
184.108.40.206. The post-1994 damned farming projects
220.127.116.11.1. Failed upliftment programme of young black people in the farming
Whilst articles 3 to 6 already discuss the farming issue and its relationship to land expropriation without compensation in detail, it is appropriate to contextualise this issue with the ANC and their history in mind. In short, the ANC’s 1994 to 2019 land redistribution plan failed not only because of the regime’s own corruption and a lack of insight, strategy, business and project planning and management, but mostly as result of the opportunism culture of the inner circle of the ANC’s state capture and corruption. This present day fraud and stealing of land and assets of the impoverished black communities, activated and driven by the extreme opportunism of some of the ANC elite, is strikingly similar to the white opportunist’s theft of the land of black people between 1652 and 1994. This was the beginning of, ostensibly, black-on-black Apartheid and the birth of the exclusive monopoly of the ANC elite as the new owners of land paid by the state and the impoverished black community. The opportunism of these ANC elite’s land grabbing scheme goes deeper still: the deliberate denial of the black youth to become farmers, thereby having first access to the land grabbed by the ANC elite.11
Recent data reflects that, in 2019, three million members of the black youth wanted to enter the farming sector, but that they did not want to be trapped in the menial, minimum wage agriculture jobs that the ANC elite is trying to force down on them. These millions also did not want to enter the agriculture sector since it is been smothered by the ANC’s overall lack of upliftment in poor black communities. The black youth desire working and workable land, together with farming support, in the same way the ANC elite and their cronies have been “uplifted” into farming since 1994. Prominent examples here are the ANC’s botched training and financing of black people who desire to to work in the agricultural sector. Metelerkamp12 writes that, although agriculture is not a big contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP), its primary future value is in the creation of many jobs in the framework of a greener economy. Indeed, the National Development Plan (NDP) suggests that, even within a conservative estimation, agriculture could be the source of an additional million jobs in 2030.12
The question remains; why did this placement of one million young black people not happen under the ANC, over the 25 years that they have been in power? Furthermore, why has this vision and mission been postponed to another 11 years in the future?
The answer lies in the ANC’s unwillingness to disembark from their opportunistic plans that only share their riches with a small sector of black society. They don’t want to lose some of their land to people outside of the ANC elite’s club of favourites. This problematic perspective led to, firstly, a culture in which they seldom engaged with new policies and strategies, in favour of looting. Secondly, their opportunism lead to a lack of responsibility and accountability to any other cultural or governmental groups.
One of the main arguments of the ANC regime is that the lack of land available in the past remains a substantial obstacle for black people wishing to enter into the agricultural sector. Along with this, the ANC maintains that systematic radical land expropriation without compensation is going to lead to a successful end solution, from 2019 onwards. There is little factual evidence to support these claims. Instead, the evidence leads one to the ANC’s failure to successfully administrate land policies, in an environment where corruption and theft of state funds meant for land redistribution is commonplace. Whilst the implementation of strategies such as BBBEE is intended to empower impoverished black people both economically and in regards to land, these issues remain unsolved. The 1994 to 2019 land redistribution plan was, on all accounts, a failure. This is partially as a result of a corrupt BBBEE system which served to support ANC nepotism. The deeply rooted opportunism of the ANC’s politburo-like politics negates opportunities like the oversupply of land and development funds to ordinary black people. Since 1994, the results of these policies have not uplifted black people working as labourers on other’s land (be they black or white). Indeed, the greater community of black people working (and often living) on other’s land has dramatically diminished between 1994 and 2019; as a result of the political and thereby economic climate rather than the working or rental conditions.
The ANC has attempted to link the diminishing of the rural black farm community as being the result of racial tensions between white farmers and black labourers. Instead, it seems as if the poor and substandard development of the black agricultural community, specifically within the paradigm of black farmers, has stimulated this mass exit by the black community from rural farms. Despite the ANC’s frequent instances of radical rhetoric on land ownership, there has been little concrete action to change the situation. That millions of rural black communities remain impoverished, unemployed and underdeveloped whilst there is an intention to rehabilitate these communities is a symptom om goals being overridden in favour of opportunism. Additionally, a Marxist-Leninist political ideology show a history of leaders who continue to benefit precisely in the chaos of governmental failure. It could be argued that the ANC elite’s characteristics of Marxist-Leninist socialism contributes to a shrugging of accountability and responsibility to the general public.11,12
From within these conditions of nonresponsibility and nonconcern, a milieu has developed that is marked by the lack of integrity, honesty and accountability to the people. This can be seen in the fact that an estimated 10 000 young men and women with tertiary qualifications in agriculture are presently unemployed. These people were trained at great expense to the state, and often at great expense and sacrifice to their economically distraught families. Issues such as these accumulate and grow exponentially in the face of corrupt ANC elites that undermine national agricultural projects with the swindling of state funds.11
Adding to the dilemma of aspiring young black people failing to create a black-owned farming sector is the failure of the State president and his ministers of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to take responsibility for the situation. The presence of state capture (equal to opportunism) is central to this issue, hindering upliftment at every level. The Festa Tlala programme, for example, was launched in 2014 amid great fanfare by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform together with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It was promised that one million hectares of vacant land would be cultivated under traditional authorities by 2019, but, like many other programmes, this was never realised. The ANC elite’s isolation from the concerns of the communities in question contribute to this failure, as they did not see the initiative through to its end.11
The ANC’s failure to utilise and maximise the potential of 10 000 unemployed black agricultural graduates manifest on the macro scale in their treatment of the thirty million impoverished and landless black people, clearly on the brink of dilapidation after 25 years of neglect. In response, the ANC spokespeople refer to statistics that show that less than 3% of South African matric graduates and only 3% to 5% of the black beneficiaries of land actually want to farm, as well as only 4% of subsistence farmers that are under the age of 30. This is to argue that agriculture as a career is not attractive to the youth, which can be misleading. This fails to understand the many reasons why agriculture in South Africa may seem unattractive, precisely because of the aforementioned failures of the ANC regime.
At least outwardly, the ANC has attended to the needs of the disadvantaged black youth in 2018 by the appointment of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, as well as the formation of the South African Agricultural Development, in order to repair the ANC’s many past failures. Whilst concrete results have yet to surface, the creation of these boards do not negate the ANC elite’s opportunism and its detrimental affect on all of the projects that they undertake.11-13
18.104.22.168.2. ANC farm-flippers
The arguments up to this point reflects on the presence of opportunism in the agricultural sector, as affected by some of the ANC elite in the ANC regime. The presence of highly problematic opportunistic politicians inside the ANC inner circle is further illustrated by the presence of so-called “farm-flippers”. Farm-flippers steal land from the new, legal black owners with a well-planned “estrangement-scheme”, construed by some members of the ANC-elite. The state capture of land especially stands out here, as it carried out through the proactive-land-acquisition-strategy. Through this strategy, the ANC-regime aimed to, through its land redistribution scheme, purchase farms in distress and lease the land to emerging Black farmers, until the farms become self-sustainable enough to establish the tenants as the new owners. It was assumed that this strategy should go together with the recapitalisation and development programme, where a strategic partner was brought on board to mentor emerging farmers and to provide the support necessary to help ensure the success of the venture, writes the editor14 of the Mail & Guardian in May 2019. But in many cases, the outcomes indicated the contrary, alludes the editor14 of the Mail & Guardian. The strategy and detailed plan makes it possible for corruption to take root and for those involved to seek out opportunistic ventures of stealing land for themselves. Situations like these make a mockery of land redistribution. More so, it confirms that opportunistic politicians in the ANC and opportunistic ANC-officials (characterised by their morally unsound behaviour and a deficiency of character) will remain active in the future of the ANC-regime. As these articles prove, the issue of land grabbing without compensation is especially vulnerable to this trend in the ANC.14
In this context of the presence of ANC opportunism, the editor14 of the Mail & Guardian writes14:30:
The rot goes all the way to the top. The former minister of rural development and land reform, Gugile Nkwinti, and his former head of security, Dumisani Luphhungela, have been implicated, along with other politically connected individuals, disparagingly referred to as ‘comrades-in-farms’.
The people who lost their land and hopes in this single instance of corruption are mirrored across South Africa. Land reform is littered with the stories of so many disenfranchised black South Africans.
In May to June 2019, Hazel Friedman15 of the Mail and Guardian did a comprehensive research series on the presence of opportunism and opportunists in the capture of redistributed land by private companies and connected politicians. She refers to those involved as the so-called “Luthuli House comrades-in-farms”. Herein, Friedman15 uncovers the immense corruption via opportunism committed through criminal co-operations between some of the ANC top brass and crooked businessmen, continually stealing through organised land grabbing from the rightful new black owners. On the 7th of June 2019, Friedman15 further reflects on a probe by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into 148 land reform projects which found that as much as a quarter were corrupt and that millions of rands has disappeared from the state. The SIU has recommended that 42 people be charged under the Public Finance Management Act. Most of the opportunistic state capture cases serving before the “Ramaphosa commissions”, however, are still underway. This process is further hindered by the incoherent rhetoric of the NPA of criminal investigations and prosecution. Up to this point, not a single culprit has been prosecuted.15
President Cyril Ramaphosa has insisted that land was the core of the “formation of the ANC” in 1912 and that it was the 1913 white apartheid land grabbing that has brought about the contemporary land situation. A case can be made for the contrary: The ANC’s top brass and their cronies’ roles as opportunists in the post-1994 land grabbing – where the black elites blatantly grabbed selected pieces of land through well-conducted schemes from the impoverished black community – looks strikingly similar to the white land grabbing of 1910s. The same refusal of accountability and pre-meditated opportunism that was characteristic of the white mindset around 1913 had also affected the ANC elite’s perspective from 1994 onward. These crooked and opportunistic politicians of the ANC and their lack of accountability and responsibility led to fall of thousands of blacks people into dire poverty. It can also be argued that there is no reason that the opportunistic ANC elites, some of whom already were involved in state capture and land grabbing pre-2019, are going to change their behaviour after May 2019. President Ramaphosa’s role features prominently here; as chair-person, his promotion and sanctioning of the corrupt cadre-deployment scheme that led directly to the exclusive and selective enrichment of the ANC-club is documented by journalists. President Ramaphosa has allowed and supported the opportunism within the ANC-regime, specifically around land transformation, and he has, therefore, been involved in some prior instances of corruption. Ramaphosa and his ANC-cronies’ pre-May 2019 election promises to ‘rehabilitate’ the ANC and its elite from dishonesty, mismanagement and state capture has not been delivered on, indicating the problem reverberates through the entire ANC regime.14,15
There is no guarantee that Ramaphosa’s post-May 2019 Land expropriation Act will bring the “Promised Land” to those that are justified in receiving it; the impoverished and landless black community. The problem is far-reaching, and therefore one of numbers. There is an excessive amount of members of the elite in the Ramaphosa-regime that show signs of the moral corruption common in opportunists, and their actions seem to indicate a set of ulterior goals that are completely detached from the devastating impact that the dishonesty and the theft has on the poor’s meager possession. These corrupt politicians will, most likely, not change their behaviour, even if it is at the cost of their potential voters and those that they have a responsibility towards. The tainted post-May 2019 ANC politicians in the Parliament will thereby assure that the culture of criminal opportunism and its consequences will be remain the norm in the post-2019 ANC-regime.14
22.214.171.124.3. Overall failing of the ANC’s post-1994 Black-farming initiative
It is clear that the chaos in the post-1994 agricultural sector, very much in line with the problems in the other economic sectors, are the eventual result of projects related to the ANC elite’s direct interests, self-empowerment and self-enrichment. This opportunism led to a situation where agricultural projects are forced to be undertaken outside of the ANC elite’s jurisdiction and therefore its corrupting nature. This is not wholly a solution, however, as these independent projects often lack the necessary knowledge and insight, as well as fair political conditions, to bring real success about for the people involved.11
How the ANC’s normal, daily governance has sabotaged the adult black agriculture community throughout its years in power is discussed by Phipson’s11. Through the ANC’s passivity and its lack to initiate a responsible and working agricultural development plan, wherein the financial interests and personal welfare of the black farmers stand central to the strategy, a potential solution is completely thwarted. This agricultural development plan should have uplifted communities in need, as opposed to prioritising the ANC-club’s interests. The results of this failure is wholly clear in the estimation of loss of potential income for the black agricultural community as part of the failed Festa Tlala programme of 2014. Phipson writes11:28:
One million hectares of maize for the 2018 -2019 season conservatively equates to six million tons of maize at R2 500 a ton, giving a gross income of R2.5-billion. This also equates to 50% of the maize crop produced by white commercial farmers. Or to 1 000 new black commercial farmers each farming 1 000ha, or 2 000 new black commercial farmers each farming 500ha.
Added to this is more than 100 000ha of high-yield potential land ideal for fresh vegetable and fruit production, most of it irrigated, which is lying unused or underused. At a gross margin of R40 000 a hectare these moribund land parcels would yield a gross margin of R4-billion a year, every year, create thousands of new young black farmers and provide a work income for 200 000 families.
The inequitable and unethical service that most of the emerging black farmers outside of the inner-circle of the ANC have received from the ANC’s failed black agricultural empowerment between 1994 and 2019 indicates that there is a total lack of concern for them or interest showed in them. The difficulties of this is well-illustrated by the writings of the wife of one such an “emerging black farmer” when she writes16:3:
But this type of farmer is no longer emerging. This type of farmer is beset by First World problems of economics and plagued by the festering, openly weeping and rapidly expanding abscess of Third World rural poverty…
Socioeconomic ills, to touch it in sanitised capitalistic terms. But that terminology ignores the political and cultural aspects. Sociocultural and politico-economic don’t quite work, either – but now we’re just playing with semantics, right? So, who cares?
These aforementioned “socioeconomic, sociocultural and politico-economic ills” of emerging black-farmers are side-lined outside the favoured circle of the ANC-elite, who’s interests were (and are still) looked after by the appropriate ministers. This is also reflected in those cases where farm-claims were successfully determined by the law long ago, but the ANC-regime’s has outright failed to bring finality to the ownership of the land and to resettle the true owners on the land. This failure is in spite of the intention of the Land Claims Commission to settle these matters with clarity and speed.
A prominent example of the failure of the Land Claims Commission is a case of the land successfully claimed and awarded in 2012 in KwaZulu-Natal, in terms of the government’s land restitution programme. The 2 115 hectare Kenbali sugar-farm was valued at R80-million and produced 400 000 tons of sugar cane annually. The farm, that employed 1 200 people, was successfully claimed in 2012 by the Mathulini community, but the transfer to its legal owners was left unfinished by the government until today. This lethargy is a direct outcome of a lack of accountability and the presence of opportunism on the ministerial level, which reflects how unrelated outsiders are possibly reaping rewards in the process of land being reformed. It has now transformed into a dispute between a local chief (who may possibly be part of an opportunistic effort to disown the legal owners from the land), the successfully land claimants and the former owners. This incident has also become the scene of violent protests and attacks. The Kenbali farm confirms how the ANC-regime has failed in re-established legal black owners on their land, as declared in terms of the government’s land restitution programme. Furthermore, the Kenbali farm is only one part of a greater ongoing and unsolved 2012 land-claim which includes another 1 732 hectare sugar farm, a 57 hectare macadamia nut farm, an 8 hectare timber farm and 318 hectare scrub farm. These rich farms form a total of 7 141 hectare, valued at over R300-million.17
The recent Constitutional Court judgement against the ANC regime is another indicator of the full measure of failure of the legalised land-redistribution programme under the ANC. The court’s judgement is strongly rooted in the failing of some of the ANC senior management to remain incorruptible in the face of potential opportunistic ventures and to accept accountability and responsibility for successfully overseeing the project. This judgement is seen as a ground-breaking turn in the halting of the ANC’s misuse of the Parliament and the various vehicles of governing. The Constitutional Court forms the first mechanism that the public may utilise to defend themselves and their interests against acts of opportunism, theft, irresponsibility, unreliability of the state etc. This turn of events give some hope that the general public have gained some power, previously lost the ANC regime and the ANC elite.
The judgment clearly took on the ineptitude of the ANC’s land reform department, together with its lack of responsibility and accountability, to successfully execute land-reform in terms of the Land Reform Act which has already come into effect on the 22nd of March, 1996. This 1996-legislation was designed to contribute to the restitution of land to those deprived of land by racial subordination in the form of Apartheid and colonialism. Tim Fish-Hodgson18 from the Africa team of the International Commission of Jurists, writes that the 1996 Act gives important rights to any person who was a labour tenant on June 2 1995, including the right to work “with his or her family members, to occupy and use that part of the farm” 18:30. This applies to parts of the farm that the people in question had previously lived and worked on. The Act also provides for protection against unlawful eviction of labour tenants living on the farm by the owner(s) of these farms. From the judgement it is clear that the implementation of these rights was deliberately and outright neglected or ignored by the officials of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The Constitutional Court judgement gives (and confirms) labour tenants the right to acquire ownership of such land through a detailed, complex process that needs to be spearheaded by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. This lack of accepting accountability and responsibility, together with the suspicions neglect of the legitimate rights and interests of other persons outside the ANC club’s interests by the ANC-regime since 1996, led to the department failing to address a total of 30 516 applications over two decades of claims made. This led to the Constitutional Court’s appointment of a special master to supervise oversight of the administration of the applications/claims. The full measure by which the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform suspiciously avoid its accountability (or where opportunism seems to be an element) to solve these land matters and thus outright fail to oversee the law as prescribed by the Parliament, is well-illustrated by the findings and references of the Constitutional Court. Fish-Hodgson reflects18:30:
- The court goes on to describe the department as a whole as displaying an ‘obstinate misapprehension of its statutory duties’, ‘unresponsiveness’ and ‘a refusal to account to those dependent on its co-operation’;
- The court accepts that the department has a ‘patent incapacity or inability to get the job done’;
- It is not the Constitution, nor the courts, nor the laws of the country that are at fault…It is the institutional incapacity of the department to do what the statute and the Constitution require of it that lies at the heart of this colossal crisis;
- The department’s glib response to the applicants’ claim was to admit that, because its records keeping was ‘non-existent’ and ‘shambolic’, it would take two years merely to capture the details of these…applications. The Constitutional Court noted that it could take the department between 24 to 40 years to settle the remaining claims given its own [department’s] descriptions of its processes.
126.96.36.199.3.1. “Colossal” constitutional crisis in post-1994 South Africa
It is important to elaborate on the court’s reference of “colossal crisis” created by the Department’s (and thus also the ANC-regime’s) lack of accountability and responsibility, and their clearly deliberate disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens for the judicial institutions, as well as the ANC regime’s general ruling of the country in years to come. It is important to note the court’s reference of the department’s (and thus also its overseer, the ANC regime’s) display of an ‘obstinate misapprehension of its statutory duties’, ‘unresponsiveness’, ‘a refusal to account to those dependent on its co-operation’ and a ‘patent incapacity or inability to get the job done’ in terms of what the statute and the Constitution require.
The highly problematic court-findings on the Department indirectly ask the question whether the ANC regime is able to successfully manage the general ruling of the country. Indeed, it inspires further questions around the ANC regime’s characteristics in relation to the ruling party prescribed by the Constitution; responsible, accountable and compassionate. As such, it poses the question if the ANC regime is honest in its daily execution of its mandate as ruling party. It is therefore crucial to study the Constitutional Court’s findings and guidelines intensively, in all of its judicial complexity, in order to see if the ANC applies its ruler’s mandate on land reform correctly. Not merely on land reform, the Constitutional Court’s structures are also able to provide a measurement of the ANC’s capacity in general matters of state and where it stands on accountability, responsibility and compassion for every citizen on every matter in dispute. The matter of state capture and, subsequently, opportunism is also matters that concern the general public. Indeed, this court’s findings became a very important judicial vehicle for the future of South Africa. The people require a method that is powerful enough to take on the ANC regime when it fails to fulfill its prescribed duties to everyone in the society. For the first time, it brings the prescribed duties of the Parliament clearly into focus, specifically to all members of South African society. Moreover, any form of state capture and the opportunists behind it is now also a point of direct focus for the court; not only to address culprits and their sentences, but also to intervene and interfere when the process of opportunism takes root or is supported by the ANC regime. This means that the Constitutional Court aims to stop the process even before prosecuting and sentencing the culprits.
Fish-Hodgson18 wrote an article that works to emphasise the ANC regime’s clearly delineated failure on the land-issue, within the broader context of the ANC’s general opportunism and lack of accountability and responsibility when confronted with their other failures. Fish-Hodgson18 states that the Constitutional Court’s findings firstly18:30: “… leaves the Cabinet with nowhere to hide and no so-called “sell out” constitutional property clause to hide behind”. Secondly, the evidence reflects that18:30: “…the court warns that, despite its sensitivity towards the need for the department to have a free hand at performing its constitutional mandate without undue interference, systematic failure to perform may justify, and require, muscular intervention by a court. This is of relevance far beyond the facts of this case and the land issue more generally”. [This reference to “systematic failures” certainly activate the court’s constitutional right of interference in other key service delivery-orientated departments. Examples of service delivery-orientated departments are education, healthcare, housing and social security (such as the Department of Women, the SAPS and the NPA)].18
It remains important to reflect on the Constitutional Court’s treatment and prosecution of the ANC regime’s for its failure, or refusal, to account to those dependent on its co-operation. This is within the context of the electorate that voted on this issue on a national, provincial and local level. Fish-Hodgson18 writes on these sets of rulings set by the Constitutional Court, whilst bearing the electorate in mind. He writes18:30: “The court warned that, because the separation of powers does not ‘imply a rigid or static conception of strictly demarcated functional roles’ and ‘the mythical spell must be broken’ to ensure the protection of Mwelase and his co-applicants’ constitutional rights’, court control of the remedial process’ may be warranted.”
Fish-Hodgson18 further reflects on this legal incidence, with the clear guidance of the Constitutional Court and its reprimand of the ANC regime, when writing18:30: “The department told the court that the appointment of a special master, under the auspices of the judiciary, would amount to a usurpation of the powers of the executive in violation of the separation of powers”. This argument of the department’s judicial independence, as well as its sole, swift and precise responsibility to the Constitutional Court is completely nullified in the court’s response, as follows18:30: “…the court noted that none of those cases it had decided ‘quite match the sustained, large-scale systematic dysfunctionality and obduracy that is evidenced here’.”
The immense failure of the department to impede land reform strategies that are already present in the existing legislation clearly indicate that the current plans to bring changes to Regulation 25 of the Constitution, and its complex political climate, were and are unnecessary. This is because the execution of land redistribution, conducted systematically and structurally, already exists in the South African law. This existing legislation also attempts to establish accountability for a governing body’s unlawful behaviour, such as the well-discussed opportunism in land-grabbing by the group of ANC elites. The change in legislation, therefore, suggest an ulterior goal; to allow the opportunistic politicians of the ANC club and other political opportunists to engage in land grabbing on a larger scale. This pattern seems to repeat in the ANC’s actions around the “state capture enterprise”. Besides the intention of opportunism, as well as the questionable actions around the change of Regulation 25, South Africa’s ruling party and its figure heads and supporters seem to lack knowledge or understanding of its own “Law-bible” and the consequences of disregarding or slackening the law. This is also despite the consequences of this legal ineptitude around land reformation being widely promulgated in 1996. [This brings us back to Villa-Vicencio8 arguments that communist rulers always over-regulate to stay in power and to have the elites of the communists benefit from their system].8 As said, the Constitutional Court’s findings extends further than merely discussing land ownership, as Fish-Hodgson18 points out that18:30:
“…describing the situation as a ‘colossal crisis’, the court is warning the government that it must endeavour to ensure that, as the Constitution requires, its obligations are performed diligently and without delay. Failing which, and irrespective of the success of the mooted constitutional amendments of the property clause, courts may begin to act to the embarrassment of a government whose legitimacy is questioned within and outside of its own political ranks”.
Now that the court has inscribed that the executive must perform its constitutional obligations and accept accountability and responsibility at all times, the fact remains that more and more litigants are going to18:30: “…ask for such supervisory remedial action in the face of [its] systematic failures” from the ANC regime.”
Mthombothi19:19 argues for the absolute need of the court’s intervention to safe guard the interests of South Africans, the Constitution and the State in itself. By force, the intervention reclaimed the right of the court to put these ideals into practice. He states that:
Given the complete collapse of any ethical conduct on the part of our rulers and the damage they’ve done to the country, the courts have become our only saving grace, our last line of defence.
In cleaning up the mess created by politicians, our judges, more often than not, are called upon to make decisions that have huge political consequences, thus inviting the sort of criticism that comes from the likes of Malema [to rid the country of “biased” judges]. But that shouldn’t be their bother. The judiciary should be averted only to politicians’ embrace or praise, not their criticism. After all, their job is to keep the executive on the straight and narrow [without insert blankly in the political terrain]. When politicians exceed their power or when decisions they make inflict pain on the powerless, it is the responsibility to rein them in. To reinforce their independence, judges should therefore eschew any conduct or comment that could be viewed as political or biased. Anything with a whiff of politics should be avoided like the plague.
Mthombothi19 writes on the recent xenophobic violence, and subsequently justifies the right of the judiciary to interfere and to intervene in contemporary South African politics. He discusses this right within the context of the ANC regime’s failure to oversee the xenophobic wave, and investigates the reasons behind the failure. The primary reason for it, he argues, is a failed regime and the presence of political opportunism which manifest in the lack of accountability and responsibility. Mthombothi reflects20:25:
The government’s fault is one of omission, not commission. It had no control over what’s happening in the country.
Ramaphosa’s government is in no position to give any undertaking to anybody, not even to its own citizens, that such maddening violence won’t happen again. It has become a mere spectator to the drama unfolding in the country. It has lost control of the country. The country is on autopilot. The government can’t even protect its own citizens, who are hunted like animals even in their own homes.
The country is literally burning while Cyril and his ANC comrades are busy gazing at their own navels.
From articles such as these, it is clear that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government seems to be unable to serve any other group, including its own citizens. In regards to the xenophobic attacks, it is currently unlikely that the ANC will be able to control and eliminate any xenophobic violence in the future. This loss of control implies that other powers in South Africa are affecting the country, such as the various criminal structures. This can be seen in the government’s failure to protect its citizens, often in their own homes, at the height of the xenophobic wave.
The court offers a clear and unbiased judicial vehicle that upstanding citizens may purposefully employ to obstruct opportunism in ANC politics and to neutralise the opportunism of the ANC elite. This court action is also the first time, since the ANC has taken power, that the regime is confronted with their own failings.
How much the ANC, now under President Cyril Ramaphosa, promises to finally commit to the people of South Africa, in terms of its accountability and the elimination of opportunism and opportunistic politicians, is indicated by President Ramaphosa’s rhetoric. Amongst other things, President Ramaphosa describes an environment of prosperity in post-May 2019 South Africa, especially for aspirant young black farmers and emerging black farmers through land expropriation with or without compensation from the notable white land owners. Notable figures in journalism, after closely considering President Ramaphosa’s public appearances and communication, predict no change in government that will protect the people against exploitation of their rights. Together with the ANC regime’s problematic history of illegality and corruption, many sources are highly skeptical of change.11,12,17,21
188.8.131.52. ANC opportunists’ abuse and exploitation of the nation
184.108.40.206.1. “Emancipation” of the poor through state capture
The ANC politicians on all levels, as well as its members and supporters, are still unaffected by the broad backlash that the ANC elite’s lack of empathy and accountability, opportunistic political schemes and corruption have created over time. These schemes to enrich themselves at the cost of the Nation is often accompanied by a comprehensive and well-planned goal to stay in power. Apartheid’s exclusiveness, at the hands of a small group of white opportunists who benefited at the cost of the large, growing group of impoverished and landless black people, has led to the racial hatred that is still present in the country. This opportunistic abuse and exploitation of others have, since 1994, been mirrored by the actions and strategies of the ANC’s top decision makers. Those who suffer and are victimised under these conditions are still the same group of underprivileged black people, notwithstanding the highly-commended and well-discussed democratic conditions that the ANC brought under Nelson Mandela.
Whilst often discussed in its ideological role, democracy has not been of practical concern to this group of impoverished black people. The implementation of BBBEE was only focused on the ANC’s inner circle. The false accusations and corrupt justifications of the black ANC elite stand as prominent examples of their exclusive and opportunistic corruption and lawlessness. The main argument used when confronted is that the the existence of “corrupted white-colonial wealth” must be destroyed, although it is the ANC elite themselves that have benefited the most in post-1994 South Africa. Contradictory, the ANC’s wealth are sometimes seen as a sign of “successful statehood by the ANC members” by the large group of underprivileged black people. The opportunists of the ANC club argue that it was an essential and initial step in the longer process of gradually distributing the wealth to every poor black person in the near future. An example of this reasoning, in the context of the land issue, means that there is an expectation that the ANC will provide free land for the impoverished by expropriating land from white people without compensation. In these arguments, there is also the belief that other assets of white people will be transferred to black owners, gratis. In this context, the corrupted ANC elite are able to infer that the ANC elite’s self-enrichment cannot be see as corruption and criminal activity, but a prerequisite to bring an end to white supremacy and white exclusive capitalism.22,23 Mthombothi22 describes the so-called anti-white capitalist motivations of these corrupted acts by the ANC-elite as22:19: “…emancipatory” inside the Black empowerment, opening opportunities to all Blacks and that the present corrupt forms of accumulation by the top brass is indeed advancing the exclude majority of the poor Black”.
The ANC elite’s promises to transfer numerous pieces of land to the underprivileged black communities in post-2019 are undoubtedly true, but their real intention with the new “abundance” of land is suspect. Instead of intending to canalise the wealth of the land to enrich the impoverished black communities, their actions seem to indicate an enrichment of their own, nepotistic interests. The availability of large pieces of valuable land, together with the overwhelming presence of state capture, leads one back to a phenomenon that this paper discussed ealier: the exclusively enriching of the Marxist-Leninist elite of the ANC.
On the corrupt and well-stated argument of the criminal ANC’s opportunistic politicians of their so-called “group emancipation of the poor through State capture”, Tabane writes23:20:
Once there are billions involved, like housing and construction projects, you know that politicians and businesspeople have conspired to steal millions, for themselves or their political parties.
Many parties are guilty of stealing from the public purse in this way through their deployees. Individuals in the process also steal big in the name of raising money ‘for the movement’.
What is sad is that some of the most competent ministers are pressured into theft. This is why I have great respect for someone like Naledi Pandor, who asked why some ministers owned so many assets that were out of proportion to their salaries.
There are some who are ready to excuse the likes of Gwede Mantashe and Nomvula Mokonyane. They are said to have ‘taken one for the movement’. We have yet to be told how installing hi tech security at a home and enjoying obscene amounts of booze and meat benefited the ANC.
It becomes clear from these numerous failings by the ANC’s top brass, as mentioned above, that there is a clear discrimination and a presence of division between the exclusive rich ANC members from the mass of poorer ANC members and supporters. The ANC elite’s motto and custom of “taking one for the movement to benefit solely the party or the ordinary poor people”, is discussed by Pithouse24-28 and others. What becomes prominent here – informed by the definitions on the meaning of opportunism and what the typical character of the opportunist looks like – is that some of the ANC’s elite and their cronies have clearly lost their cognitive ability to differentiate between lies and truth, or virtue and vice. Especially after many years of corrupted, opportunistic and uncontrolled reign, a norm has been established. Delusions are prominent in many of the ANC elite’s political thinking, planning and actions. This is evident in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s third state of the nation address. As is the case with many of the ANC elite’s, their thinking, planning and actions are indeed saturated by a variety of political pathology. Ex-president Jacob Zuma has recently spoke before the Zondo commission, wherein he distanced himself from the very concept of state capture. This was instead of arguing that he was the target of political targeting and that state capture never existed under his presidency. This serves as an example of the ANC’s elite having lost the ability to understand that many of the impoverished black people have begun to disapprove of and reject the ANC as a party. The ANC elite cannot further manipulate black non-member supporters of the ANC to vote for them, evident from the outcome of the recently concluded elections of May 2019. Support has declined overall, with only 49% of the eligible voters participating in the elections, and an ANC voting support count of only 28% of the total eligible voters. The black youth’s immense apathy is especially problematic for the ANC’s aims and future plans in 2019. Self-empowerment and self-enrichment take precedent over the nation.24-28
Solly Mapaila29 of the South African Communist Party (a tripartite partner in ANC regime) slammed specific BEE as so-called “narrow nationalism” that enables state capture. He postulates29:26: “This narrow nationalism delayed our capacity to build and transform the state, and we ended up creating what has now developed into a predatory state. We must go back to this painful journey so that we don’t repeat it, but this painful journey played in a very nice policy framework and was called black economic empowerment. We even legalised it.” In this context, Mapaila29 adds that most of the state institutions of South Africa were paralysed due to looting by those who employed the government’s BEE policy, including specific members from within the ANC led coalition. With specific reference to the contaminating effect of BEE, Mapaila29 clearly states that the ANC’s so-called “developmental state” has provided opportunities a select few ANC groups could exploit to become rich in the name of the nation. He writes29:26:
“The corruption and what we call state capture and the disempowerment of the majority was within the framework of the terrain of the developmental state that we were trying to construct. We took this painful journey to appease particularly the middle strata. Our president is a product of this as well. He is a rich man; there is no doubt about it.”
220.127.116.11.2. Municipalities as milking cows
The development of a culture of state capture, as guided and steered by opportunism and the ongoing misuse and illegal use of public money by many ANC opportunists, has been confirmed and reflected in the decline of the state’s financial situation. The tax-payer is especially aware of these deficiencies, over the past nine years. Although the no-payment culture plays a role in municipalities’ decline in income, this outcome is also the result of clumsy and non-existent administration in the collection of service fees. The financial situation can also be argued to be symptomatic of the ANC regime’s Marxist-Leninist socialism where, in exchange for the voter’s support, free services are provided. This system is unsustainable, of course, and may indicate a possible end to the ANC. Furthermore, the presidencies and their cabinets that were appointed to oversee the lack of accountability and responsibility to law-abiding voters in their governing of South Africa for the period 2008 to 2019, are overly concerned with remaining in power.30-41
Analyses show that the growing shortfalls in municipal budgets stem from the misuse of their funds for things such as high salaries, unsuccessful projects where tender-fraud and the enrichment of cadres outweigh other goals, friend and families appointed to the municipalities’ top management and the use of so-called consultants as a cover for corruption. What these specific problems have in common is the overall disregard that the national government has towards the financial and administrative tasks in the municipalities. No improvement is made in areas where remedial recommendations have been made by the appropriate overseeing bodies. The relative freedom that these members of government have is well reflected by the immense amounts of irregular and unauthorised expenditure by municipalities. The culture of organised corruption, that became established in the municipalities under the Zuma-regime, has continued to grow exponentially.30-41
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, thus far, failed to restructure the problems that faced the municipalities under President Jacob Zuma, since Desember 2017. It could be argued that this phase of government under President Ramaphosa and his regime is the eventual death of the ANC, wherein the motivation behind many of the clearly contaminated decisions of the ANC-opportunists are made in their last efforts to benefit themselves out of the party. These decisions are in addition to their previous large-scale land grabbing corruption. Prominent examples are the enormous abuse and exploitation of state funds by the elite of the ANC regime on local levels, with the main intention being to benefit them exclusively in salaries and benefits. Additionally, state funds are stolen by well-masked tender fraud and various other forms of ongoing state capture. Kgosana32, writing on the opportunistic spending on national, provincial and local levels by the ANC elite (sardonically referred to as “irregular expenditures”), reports as follows32:12:
- The amount of irregular expenditure incurred by the national and provincial departments in 2008/2009: R11-billion against 2017/2018: R50-billion;
- The combined irregular expenditure at local government level in 2008/2009: R3.2-billion against 2017/2018: R27.6-billion;
- Unqualified audits with no findings, recorded in all spheres of the government in 2008/2009: 10% against 2017/2018: 24%.
Immense corruption, political mismanagement and nepotistic cadre-employment on the local municipality level has forced the Parliament to publish a gazette through the National Treasury on the local government cost containment measures, on the 7th June 2019. The introduction of these regulations was seen by a sector in the ANC as “unasked, inappropriate and limiting the empowerment” of the local government, possibly because these regulations curb the ANC opportunists as they continue their state capture and opportunistic crimes. The decline of the integrity and honesty of well-functioning municipalities run parallel to those municipalities that were under ANC rule and has since become bankrupt. Inside this deliberate and well-planned scheme around the finances of the municipalities, a R2-billion loss in the VBS Mutual Bank stand out. This immense loss has resulted from investments by ANC opportunists in charge of the municipalities’ finance.30,34-36,38
On the “untainted” VBS Mutual Bank looting of R2-billion, Matlala indicates that the criminals who had planned and executed the immense fraud – municipal managers, chief finance officers and supply chain managers who all have numerous strong connections to the ANC elite – are left protected and are never prosecuted. Clearly, the ANC regime’s prosecuting authorities also form part of the corrupt system. The excessive influence of the opportunist politicians of the ANC regime is also evident in the fact that the criminals in the Limpopo municipalities continue to draw monthly salaries, whilst others make government deals worth millions [colloquially referred to as golden hand-shakes]. Although some of the managers are currently serving suspensions, there has not a single criminal charge laid against them thus far. The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance, found in October 2019, found that some of these culprits, that are still unaffected and “walking free”, are currently engaging in irregular business practices with their own municipalities in Limpopo. Furthermore, the opportunistic approach of awarding tenders to friends and relatives, and the paying of service providers for work that has not been done, are still frequent procedures in many of the corrupt Limpopo municipalities.33
The condemning Auditor-General’s report37 for the financial year ended June 30 2018 confirms the lack of legal oversight and political leadership in the failed municipalities (and also reflects a failed ANC regime on a national level). The performance of the country, in the terms of this report, is described by the editor37 of the City Press on the 30th June 2019 as37:2: “…one that paints a bleak picture of deteriorating audit outcomes.”
The auditor-general Kimi Makwetu states that the 2017/18 Auditor-General’s report shows the highest level of noncompliance with key governance laws since the 2011/12 financial year report. The lack of accountability and responsibility stands central in these criminal acts inside the municipalities. As opposed to the 14% of municipalities that received clean audits in 2016/17, the 2017/18 report only reflects 8% compliance. This means for 2017/18, only 18 out of 257 municipalities received clean audits, further reflecting that 239 municipalities failed the test. The report indicates that the various local government role-players, such as mayors, councillors and municipal managers, have not taken any of the previous report’s recommendations by the auditor-general into account, and they have not corrected their corrupt and dishonest systems. This echoes the profile of extreme opportunism where the opportunists’ own interest is the primary aim.
This failure to improve is also confirmed by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) findings. The FFC is a body of constitutionally mandated members that make recommendations to Parliament and the Provincial legislators about the financial and fiscal viability of municipalities. The basis of the municipalities’ failure is the lack of accountability by the political parties to appoint able and responsible councillors and mayors to oversee that able officials are running their councils. The FCC demonstrates the total irregularity of expenditure regarding the R25.2-billion in 2017-18. Eybers31 and Khumalo31 pinpoint the management of the numerous beleaguered state institutions and local municipalities that has reached its highest ever levels of crises, at the end of June 2019: 30 of the municipalities battle to pay salaries, the municipal debt had increased to R60-billion over the past five years, the outstanding debt increased from R105-billion in March 2015 to R163-billion in March 2019. Additionally, It seems that most of these municipalities in crisis have no recovery plans and hope to receive a bail-out by the central government. This failure of most of the country’s municipalities is rooted in the corruption and opportunistic misuse of the municipalities’ finances, together with the poor overall management of it by sub-standard leaders. This setup is a direct outcome of the municipalities’ appointment by a dysfunctional national and provincial leadership under the ruling the ANC regime.31,36,39-41
On the chaos of local governing (much in line with ANC’s chaotic governing on provincial and national level) as reflected by the Auditor-general’s findings, the spokesperson of Cosatu, Sizwe Pamla40, has said that the situation was40:3: “…appalling, frightening and deeply worrisome.” (Note: Cosatu is a partner to the tripartite ANC-regime). In line with other findings of the failure of the ANC regime to assure good local, provincial and national government, especially in the fight against corruption and financial capture by corrupted opportunists, Pamla writes40:3: “This confirms the fact that there is little control over the corrupt abuse and manipulation of tenders and procurement of goods and services. All this shows there is virtually no appetite to abide by the laws across the country. What is even more depressing is that there are virtually no consequences for those responsible.”
Within the context of the appointment of cadres will numerous allegations logged against them and similarly tainted ANC elite in the ANC regime’s failed overseeing of all three levels of government, the editor37 of City Press, when discussing the problem of corruption, incompetence and the culture of opportunism in the politics of municipalities, writes on the 30th June 201937:2:
They should be electing competent and duly qualified people to these positions. But the ANC and the other parties have tended to use these positions to reward friends and fellow party members who have no clue of what is expected of them once in office.
In the few instances where professionals are appointed, they often do not last due to the embedded culture of laziness, bending the rules and employees ingratiating themselves with the bosses. These rare competent officials are often ostracised and effectively worked out of the system.
But the worst phenomenon to emerge over the past few years is that corrupt officials being reshuffled. Instead of being fired, they are simply moved from one municipality to the next. This is born out of a political culture of “looking after our own…” […as the ANC’s list of 22 tainted MPs and MPLs for the May 2019 elections and most of these tainted person’s reappointment in senior ANC-regime positions after May confirm].
The editor37 of City Press emphasises the problematic situation of unethical leaders, persons with a disregard for good governance, compliance and control, and no self-discipline and impunity when it comes to monetary opportunism. A lack of commitment to transparency and accountability in the municipalities is also reflected at the level of state-owned enterprises, as confirmed by the large-scale state capture and bankruptcy there. From here, the contamination spreads to the lower levels of government, as well. He writes37:2: “When political leaders [with seemingly pinpointing the President of the ANC and his intimate cronies] deemed these a feeding trough and deployed enablers of the Gupta empire to run them, they created the rot that drove many of them, such as Denel and Eskom, to financial ruin.”
Plaatjies42, in focusing indirectly on the ANC’s criminal acts as a regime overall, brings the failure of the Public Service Commission (PSC) into account. The PSC has failed to deal with corrupt and unqualified politically-appointed mayors, councillors and municipal managers effectively. He also emphasises the failure of Parliament’s various oversight committees, who’s main function is to handle the 239 outright failed and politically contaminated municipalities. These 239 munipalities are overwhelmingly under ANC rule, and are those that have become plagued by the political games of the ANC’s mismanagement and corruption of the national government.36,42,43
Plaatjies30, on the “intervention and interference silence” of the various parliamentary oversight committees, posits that30:7: “Until now we have not seen the members of these committees taking their responsibilities seriously. It’s about politicking. They need to jack up their responsibilities. ‘I know they’re representing their parties. I know they need to score political points. But my god, start scoring points for the citizens and the country’.”
The failing of the recent 239 municipalities led to a specific set of 30 municipalities in Limpopo, the Eastern Cape, Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape did not pay their staff’s salaries. Furthermore, these 30 municipalities also failed to pay their staff’s pensions up to the amount of R70-million. Some of the municipalities have been blacklisted while others assets were frozen. It is alleged that the equipment belonging to one of these, the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality in the Free State, was seized by the sheriff of the court due to the failure to pay Eskom. What features prominently inside the financial chaos at municipalities, is that the opportunistic mayors and their senior cronies are still compensated monthly. These mayors and their employees are mostly appointed in terms of the ANC’s cadre-centered and democratic-centralists policies.36,40-48
Cilliers44, in the context of the aforementioned outright and excessive failure of many municipalities, writes44:17: “Werkers en raadslede van die Tswaing-munisipaliteit in Noordwes het nog nie hul Junie-salaris gekry omdat die munisipaliteit se bankrekening glo weens onbetaalde skuld gevries is”, and44:17: “Die provinsiale regering het die munisipaliteit, wat Sannieshof, Delareyville, Ottosdal en die omliggende gebiede bedien, in Mei onder administrasie geplaas weens swak bestuur, wat gelei het tot ‘n ineenstorting van dienslewering”.
This chaos that Cilliers describes – that employees are not being paid and that this lead to a collapse of all municipal services – has forced President Cyril Ramaphosa to acknowledge that the central ANC government assists 57 municipalities in distress. The state capture by corrupt elements of the leadership of many of the mismanaged municipalities is so extreme that it has forced the Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu to admit that his team of investigators has experienced serious threats and intimidation. This extremity is primarily because of the ANC regime’s lack to introduce integrity, honesty, accountability and legitimacy in all levels of governance.36,40,42,43,45-48
In this context of absolute failure and corrupted government (from municipalities up to the Parliament), the editor37 of the City Press clearly brings two suspicious ANC leaders into focus for their criminal acts and to be help responsible, at least in part, for the chaos. He writes37:2:
Two key examples of this are the Free State province and the eThekwini municipality. The Free State, where former premier Ace Magashule micromanaged local government for his own ends and made sure his cronies were installed, has the largest concentration of poorly performing municipalities in the country.
eThekwini, run by the warlord-like Zandile Gumede for the past three years, has gone from being a star performer to one of the country’s most poorly run metros.
Will49 reports that the ANC-managed Matjhabeng municipality (or the Free State Gold Fields) is one of the 10 worst performing municipalities in the country. It takes first place of the 257 municipalities labelled as the worst spenders of taxpayers’ money: it had misspent R169 million for 2017-2018, its outstanding debt for water is R2.3 billion, while its Eskom debt is R1.84 billion. The unauthorised spending of the Matjhabeng-municipality was R873-million for 2018.49
The immense opportunism locked into the ANC’s governing on national, provincial and local levels, and the presence of prominent ANC opportunist politicians that contaminate their environment, is confirmed by many trustworthy resources. Dr Daniel Plaatjies26, chair of the FFC, repeats other examples of opportunism, corruption and theft at most municipalities when he says26:10: “There’s an overwhelming level of fraud and corruption, and tackling that is priority. These issues are systematic and they’ve been flagged for years.” Elaborating further on the failed service to the people by the ANC regime at local governing level, over the last 25 years, the editor26 of The Citizen writes26:10: … it shows that government is failing South Africans daily”. The report, titled: Audit Performance and Service Delivery at Local government Level of June 2019 by the organisation Good Governance Africa. Good Governance Africa reports on clean audits of municipalities and reflects on such services as sanitation, refuse collection, reliability of electricity, education, water and medication availability. They have found that all of these aforementioned services are still seriously lacking. The report reflects, for instance, that inhabitants of only 42% of high-performing municipalities and 40% of low-performing municipalities have access to sanitation outside their homes26. Plaatjies30 describes this immense of chaos as30:7: “… horror scenarios of towns with no tap water, sewage running down streets and industry ‘running away.”
18.104.22.168.1. ANC fat cats
There are prominent examples of the immense abuse and exploitation of the tax-payers’ money by the elite of the ANC regime, especially on national level, with the main intention to benefit them exclusively in salaries and various other advantages.32
How well planned and established this greed and self-enrichment of the ANC’s so-called fat cats are, must be read in its entirety. This presence is confirmed by the misleading revised New Ministerial Handbook, which the Ramaphosa regime approved in June 2019. The handbook indicates that the perks for travel, cars and other luxuries that ministers used to enjoy were cut drastically to “decrease the gap” of inequality between the law-makers and the poor people (propagated by Tito Mboweni: to demonstrate some restraint ourselves). A comparative analysis of the handbook shows the outcome is again one of sole advantage of the “fat cats” of the present ANC elite in the Ramaphosa regime. There are no signs of shame or guilt about the large group of impoverished people who were created by the ANC since 1994. Once again, this is caused by the ongoing policy of gratuitous opportunism by the Zuma regime’s political opportunists (notwithstanding an effort to manipulate the public imagination by Mboweni in his November budget speech, wherein he delcared that the Ramaphosa administration is going to curb the perks of the leaders in the public sector).50,51
Hilary Joffe51 confirms how far the opportunistic culture of the ANC elite has spread and how fast this culture has established itself in the Ramaphosa regime. She writes on the November 2019 medium-term budget speech of Mboweni.51:2
When finance minister Tito Mboweni delivered his medium-term budget speech in parliament on Wednesday afternoon, some small but significant changes had been made to the draft which had been shared with journalists under embargo on Wednesday morning. Specifically, the curbs on ministers’ pay and perks which had been in the speech in the morning had been somewhat diluted by afternoon. The cap on the cost of official cars had been raised from R700,000 to R800,000; a phrase about “downward adjustments” to cabinet and provincial premiers’ salaries replaced with one about “further negotiations”; and a ban on subsistence and travel payments substituted with something fuzzier.
Were Mboweni’s cabinet colleagues more concern about their cars than about the country’s catastrophic public finances? It was hard not to ask, especially after he arrived almost an hour late to brief media after the cabinet discussed the budget in its Wednesday morning meeting.
The fact remains that Parliament is still affected, and often adversely continuing with, its old ways of corruption. Mokone52 writes that, for 2019/2010, the government set aside R750-million to primp the Union Buildings, houses of MPs in Cape Town, as well as ministers in Cape Town and Pretoria. This act of opportunism is addition to 84 free flights a year that each of the 400 serving MPs and ministers receive. Furthermore, they also enjoy heavily subsided three-course meals and liquor at Parliament, a car/travel allowance of R120 000 a year for MPs, whilst also receiving taxpayer-sponsored phones, tablets and laptops. MPs park for free at all the airports across the country and are shuttled by bus daily from their parliamentary villages to Parliament, free of charge. In 2019, a further payment of R111-million in ‘loss of office’ gratuities were made available as ‘golden handshakes’ to 159 MPs who failed to return to Parliament after the May 8 elections. The taxpayers’ money are used on airline tickets for approximately 2 000 current and former MPs, ministers and their dependants, including children and spouses a year, at the value of R120-million a year.52 Describing the MPs reaction on the 1st September 2019, when it was suggested that they cut some of their parliamentary benefits, Mokone52 reports52:1,4:
Pampered MPs, who enjoy taxpayers-sponsored freebies and perks that would make the average South African green with envy, warned this week that they will resist any attempt to trim their generous benefits. And some of them insist they deserve even more gravy – on top of their free flights, accommodation and meals, and alongside salaries that range from R1.2m to R2.4m, depending on the position they hold in parliament.
Pather53 discusses the reckless opportunistic politics of the ANC’s leaders since 1994, as characterised by their self-enrichment and -empowerment at the costs and suffering of more than 30-million impoverished black people. He points out one of the biggest factors still strengthening the presence of crime, disorder, lawlessness in the ANC. Pather writes53:14:
Despite all their big talk about liberating their people from poverty and economic inequality and creating an egalitarian society, most of our leaders are basically slaves to social status and wealth.
They strive each day to build obscenely oversized nest eggs in the limited time they enjoy in office.
While you and I bite our nails down to the elbow worrying about the escalating cost of living, let’s take a peak into the kind of lives our public representatives enjoy.
Cabinet ministers earn a salary of R2 401 633 a year while their deputies will take home R1 977 795.
And that’s not counting their perks of luxury vehicles, first-class travel internationally, business-class local flights, state-owned residences, renovations, cleaning services and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Members of Parliament, both national and provincial, obviously earn a little less than their executive colleagues, but fall into the category of “fat cats”.
Other forms of the ANC regime’s abuse and exploitation of the people’s empowerment and finance – which stems from this “circus of stealing and no accountability” – are fueled by the state’s financial support for former president Jacob Zuma in his appearances before courts of law, as well as before the Zondo commission because of his crimes against the state and the tax-payers) in the past. The legal costs that Zuma has built up via the state’s legal support for his cases stand as a prominent example here. These cases are described as having cost several million rands. Zuma initially got away with free legal support for his court cases, until the beginning of June 2019, through his misuse of the state’s cheque book to fight the various court cases against him. Zuma is described as having prolonged these cases with appeal-on-appeal, despite negative sentences against him. [Zuma managed to forgo all payments and deny his sentences because the state, when presided over by both Thabo Mbeki and Cyril Ramaphosa, illegally undertook to cover Zuma’s legal costs). Rooi54 writes54:8: “Dit volg nadat die hooggeregshof in Pretoria in Desember  bevind het dit was onwettig van oudpres. Thabo Mbeki en pres. Cyril Ramaphosa om te onderneem om Zuma se regskoste te betaal”.
The legal and other costs accumulated by Zuma still need to be accounted for by the state when he appears before the Zondo commission. On Zuma’s defence offered before the Zondo commission – and the extreme costs already accumulated and in danger of growing through more of Zuma’s testimonies, Rooi writes54:8:
Die department van justisie het gister aangedui meer as R1 miljoen is in dié stadium reeds aan Zuma se regsverteenwoordigers by die kommissie betaal.
Voorlopige berekeninge deur regslui toon die koste van Zuma se regspan oor die lewensduur van dié kommissie kan ‘n astronomiese R24 miljoen tot R30 miljoen beloop.
Dit is benewens die koste van Zuma se verdediging in strafregtelike en ander sake wat volgens die DA reeds meer as R15 miljoen beloop. Die EFF raam dié bedrag op R32 miljoen.
Another substantial case of the ANC regime’s opportunistic spending, under the Ramaphosa regime, is the paying of the costs of politicians who testify before the various judicial commissions, including the Zondo commission. They are paid to testify despite the fact that many of them are guilty of state capture themselves and should be charged and not allowed to contribute to legal processes. Hunter55 reports that, when Jacob Zuma’s lawyers put up a fight at the Zondo commission, accusing the Commission of being biased and unfair, the taxpayers payed the bill, via the state’s Department of Justice. These payments are for their communication with the Zondo commission as well as appearing before it. Furthermore, these payments are separate from Zuma’s other costs of inquiry, which are also carried by the state. But Zuma is not benefiting alone: there are others from his regime that are implicated and are testifying before the Zondo commission. An amount of R6 968 000 was paid by the state to cover the legal costs of those appearing before the Zondo commission, like Lynne Brown, Nathi Nhleko, ex-police commissioner Kgomotso Phalan and the former head of the NPA Shaun Abrahams. The legal costs of the three police officers of North West, Lt Gen Baile Motswenyne, Maj Gen Ntebo “Jan” Mabula and Brig Pharasa Ncube, were all paid, while incumbent ministers Pravin Gordhan and Nathi Mthertwa also relied on the state to pay their legal fees. Although there was no comprehensive legal team appointed at the state’s cost to represent civil servants who appeared before the Zondo commission, there were two advocates appointed and paid R220 000 by the state. These two advocates specifically came in to represent the Department of Mineral Resources when its staff appeared before the Zondo commission.55
The full measure of the extremity of ideas held by so-called “fat cats” of the ANC elite is well reflected by their current moves to steal from the country’s prescribed assets, like the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) of R1.8-trillion, as well as private pension and assurance funds. This intention of the ANC opportunists is driven by the 1983 ANC radical economic transformation document – built on the basis of Marxist-Leninist socialist ideas – which instructs that the “billions” of the various pension funds and insurance companies of South Africa will be made available at the disposal of the ANC if it obtains government. Stemmet56, a spokesperson for the Association of Monitoring and Advocacy of Government Pensions (AmaGP) describes the looting of other’s money and belongings by the ANC elite regarding pensions56:7: “The ANC government is making the basic mistake of referring to this as public money. It is not public money; it belongs to the members of the pension fund, not to the government. In effect you’re forcing pension funds to lend money to bankrupt state entities. How can you invest in an absolutely bankrupt entity like Eskom?”
It is clear that the opportunists of ANC regime have already begun to loot from the public fixed assets by using the GEPF as a bank. Stemmet56 argues that the Mpati-Commission’s investigation into the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) already shows evidence of political contamination, for instance the R94.5-billion of GEPF money that has been invested into Eskom already. The same kind of so-called “risky investments” are well masked in Denel, SABC and many others state institutions where state capture is prominent. On this opportunistic steering and misused of other’s money by the ANC-elite, Stemmet warns56:7: “They‘ve done it already. And it’s illegal, of course”. His further warns against further state capture: “Would you accept a guarantee from a bankrupt guarantor? The government is bankrupt. That is why they want to use the GEPF to keep bankrupt SOEs going. If we could have trusted the government this might have been an option. But we cannot trust this government. Even if the government could make such an agreement, how can we believe they’d honour it?”
To argue that the Ramaphosa regime is not opportunistic like the Zuma regime, and that new state capture and self-enrichment will not happen again, is a fallacy. Cyril Ramaphosa was Jacob Zuma’s vice-president for years and he was the chair of the ANC’s corrupt programme of cadre-deployment, which is based on the exclusive self-enrichment and positioning of a selective group of ANC members. It is especially telling that many of the tainted pre-2019 ANC politicians, implicated in various forms of corruption, opportunism and dishonesty, are still in Ramaphosa’s regime as MPs, MPLs, mayors of municipalities, premiers, provincial ministers, cabinet-ministers and chairs of various parliamentary committees. These unpunished culprits are waiting for new “opportunities” post 2019.The ANC’s political opportunists of yesterday are those of tomorrow.
To understand the opportunism of Ramaphosa’s politics, just reads his misleading under-mentioned 2017 election-promises57:9, 58:2:
- The party that has our nation’s future foremost in its heart.
- A government that has put in place a specialised anti-corruption unit.
- The party that insisted on setting up the Zondo Commission to expose and destroy state capture.
- The party that has led the process of once again getting SARS working at its world class best,
- The party under whose leadership, a new leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority has been put in place.
- The party that is restoring the ability of government to provide services fairly to all.
[It is clear that the “saviour” Ramaphosa and his immediate ANC elite comrades may benefit from the learning from the example of Uruguay’s former president, José “Pepe” Mujica, who was previously in jail as a freedom fighter for 14 years. Mujica had donated 90% of his presidential salary to charity and drove around in an old Volkswagen Beetle during his presidency, writes Pather53. Or, as Pather53 further describes, present-day Swedish MPs who live in tiny flats, travel in crowded buses and trains, wash and iron their own clothes in communal laundries and live like the people who put them into office].53
22.214.171.124.3. ANC’s integrity committee
The failure of the SAPS and the NPA to bring any of the ANC elite to justice for state capture, led to a situation where any tainted ANC political opportunist can still participate in official politics. This legal vacuum of official certification regarding a candidate’s integrity to position him/herself as able, trustworthy, honest and free from political opportunism, was denied and avoided by the ANC politburo. They managed to side-step any repercussion by establishing their so-called Integrity Committee (Commission). This aimed to not only to give tainted ANC members entrance to the official politics of post-2019, through the committee’s “certification”, but also to “clear” the contaminated status of many members of the politburo.
To position the tainted ANC members as “virtuous” for the voters and their partners in Parliament, to ensure that they be be re-elected, the ANC’s Integrity Committee (Commission) was established. This committee is in line with most of the Marxist-Leninist regimes’ customs throughout the world, and it works to certify and redeem all of their members through an “official” party body. This led to most of the crooked ANC political opportunists of pre-2019 being elected without obstruction, especially those from the Parliament’s fifth administration. It assured the continuation of mainstay power of the politburo (more or less 90 members, as opposed to the greater ANC’s slightly less than a million members). The resolutions taken by the national conferences, in terms of Marxism-Leninism, has also become more popular after 2019. The overall contamination of the ANC politics of 2019 (and therefore 2019 onwards), forced the editor59 of the Saturday Star on the 16th March 2019 to ask the following59:12:
What does one have to do to get expelled from the ANC? Clearly, allowing a state capture network to take root is not enough. Nor is being charged with corruption. Nor is flouting the constitution.
…not only are those issues not sufficient to get you kicked out of the ANC, you are actually called up to help your comrades fight the upcoming election.
To non-ANC supporters, that clearly shows that the party is continuing under Cyril Ramaphosa, where it left off under Zuma and that the “New Dawn” and Thuma Mina slogans are merely that… words.
These aforementioned corrupt actions and decisions of the ANC’s Integrity Committee stand clearly in line with the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist ideology, which is constant and ongoing since the 1910s. This ideology has often turned extreme, arguably because of its democratic-centralism that underlies the empowerment-umbrella of its politburo: ANC members are only loyal to the ANC, its constitution and the resolutions taken by its national conferences (while the loyal ANC member, notwithstanding the form and comprehensiveness of his/her criminality, is never stripped from his/her public “integrity”). For the loyal ANC member, the party comes first, not South Africa. It would seem that, for the loyal ANC member, the ANC’s constitution is prioritised above the South African Constitution. This has neutralised the effectiveness of the South African Constitution, as its asks absolute loyalty and support of the party’s interests. The integrity, and thus the ability of members to serve on official bodies (Parliament) and official positions (MPs, MPLs, ministers, state-president, etc.) is determined by its Integrity Committee and nothing else.60-62
Despite statutory empowerment being absent from the Integrity Committee, the committee plays a very decisive role in the ANC’s member’s position and their future in the ANC and the country’s politics. Although it lacks the ability to verify the truth of allegations against ANC-members and can only direct the ANC-NEC with moral advice, its recommendations often leads to the false certification of tainted ANC members as “clean” and “able” members, eligible to be elected to Parliament. This contaminated outcome was reflected by the 22 tainted names on the ANC’s list for the May 2019 elections. Notwithstanding the criminal evidence on candidates who indeed went to Parliament after May, the committee is seen inside the ANC, as well by some of the media, as a trustworthy body. This makes the committee a “certification-body” of the ANC instead, and therefore misleads voters about the integrity of some of the ANC members going to the Parliament.60-62
The functioning of the committee is so that ANC members are arrested for serious crimes but still awaiting trial, and are seen and treated as innocent until proven guilty and sentenced. Problematically, it also sees certain crimes as less serious than others, for instance that murder during acts of of terrorism by ANC members are of low status. The present ANC members that hold top positions in office must be read in the context in this functioning of the ANC; that all of its public representatives can and may continue to hold high offices, even when charged with serious crimes. Paton60, on the unlimited staying on of criminals in the ANC’s official politics through its broken disciplinary system, remarks60:7: “Even when accused of crimes and charged by a court, public representatives stuck to the mantra of “innocent until proven guilty. The result was that numerous ANC public representatives continued to hold high office even when charged with serious crimes.”
The aforementioned scenarios are from the South African democracy promised by the ANC wherein the judicial bodies (the various judicial commissions, the SAPS and NPA) should play a key-role to act against the main culprits of corruption and illegal management under the ANC ruling. Without accepting accountability, the ANC cannot differentiate between right or wrong. This is because most of the ANC elite function in a negative culture which also manifests in its Integrity Committee’s opinions and decisions. Munusamy61 postulates61:20: “The line between wrong and right is indistinct,” and: “…we might doubt what seemed to be irrefutable facts, as well as our sanity. Heroes and villains could swap places.”
Many of the ANC’s personal and party crimes are rationalised and projected as the unavoidable outcomes of Apartheid, or as necessary to fight apartheid. This implies that they either have no control over the outcome, or cannot be held responsible. This rationale masks the exclusive opportunism and the pre-meditated crimes of opportunists. The refusal of accountability for this situation (which seems to be the approach for the erasing of accountability from most ANC member’s mindsets) seems to have become the modus operandi of the ANC members in their avoidance of their political and socio-economic responsibility, as well as their political crimes, since 1994. The extreme opportunists follow their own goals and intentions under the guise of promoting the party’s interests. The failing of the ANC’s integrity committee to uphold strict legal rules and its members’ integrity, as well as regulate its own operations, reflect the same political contamination.59
Saunderson-Meyer62, writes on the failure of the ANC elite to accept accountability in the selection of senior members to its leadership positions, as well as the ANC’s refusal to address their current and historic corruption. On the 13th of July 2019, in the Saturday Citizen, he argues62:12:
William Gumede, associate professor of governance at Wits, writes in Business Live this week [July 2019] that “black victimhood” is used as an excuse to avoid accountability. Songezo Zibi, former editor of Business Day, writing this week on News24, offers nought for comfort. “Until there is a new political school of thought that seeks… to build social structures that deepen accountability, our situation will not approve. We shall continue to degenerate, risking violent social upheaval.”
The ANC’s basis of Marxist-Leninist socialism remains the key to understanding the seeming ignorance (and the cognitive inability) of some of the ANC’s elite to understand the difference between moral and amoral governing (as was recently evident in Jacob Zuma’s rhetoric when appearing before the Zondo commission). These decisions must be read in the context of the ANC’s underlying aim of sole political empowerment of an exclusive group of their elite. Paton60 writes on the irony of the situation60:7: “At the root of the problem is the ANC’s fundamental flaw; its reluctance to hold its leaders to account for even the most flagrant abuses. This process, which should seamlessly occur through the natural workings of the party’s disciplinary processes, is broken. Instead of fixing it, a new structure was created: the integrity commission.”
It could be argued that there is a serious danger that all statutory structures will be further undermined by the ANC opportunists to obtain unobstructed access to state funds and other illegal opportunities. The empowerment of the ANC Integrity Committee, versus the current disempowerment of the NPA, leaves the impression of a deliberate erasing of any official structures which can sabotage the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist elite’s opportunistic plans to obtain exclusive political power and riches. Bateman63 discusses the possible presence of suspicious motives by the ANC’s leader. It is in this setup, amid the unstable and faulty official vehicles of law enforcement, there seems to be an increasing possibility that President Cyril Ramaphosa will follow his predecessors and ensure that the group of corrupt ANC elite keep their positions. This is similar to ex-president Jacob Zuma, when he disbanded the Scorpions and subsequently fired the honest senior officials and senior politicians when they tried to interfere and intervene with his and the ANC elite’s corrupted deeds. President Ramaphosa’s many conflicts with court interdicts against the Public Protector, especially around his controversial CR17 campaign, is suspicious and worrying. In this context, Bateman63 reflects63:2: “…true independence in bodies that probe is the last thing the ANC wants – as evidenced by new outfit still having to report to the executive…” and63:2: “…there’s a comfort clause if the evidence gets too warm for the incumbents, no matter how clean they appear. President Ramaphosa can simply shut it down…”
126.96.36.199.3.1. ANC-elite’s 2019 opportunistic maneuvering
Following the lack of accountability and responsibility, 2019 has indicated that a new phase of opportunism by the ANC elite is in development, especially seen in the operations of the Integrity Committee. This manifestation is, from a political view, not always taken as seriously as it arguable should. The corruption of the committee may be an indication of the ANC’s post-2019 plans, or indicative of the consequences that awaits South Africa. Inside this context of opportunism in the ANC elite and the various conflicting actions of President Cyril Ramaphosa, the negative consequences may outweigh his improvement on Zuma, in the end. Firstly, another prominent example of Ramaphosa’s questionable decision-making is that he, in the ANC’s fifth administration, refused outright to fire the minister in charge of the ANC Women’s League, Bathabile Dlamini (seemingly favoured by Zuma), after she alleged lied under oath. Secondly, Ramaphose included an excessive amount of Zuma’s tainted cronies on the ANC list for the May election. Thirdly, Ramaphosa has appointed many of Zuma’s tainted cronies in the sixth ANC regime. Fourthly, the ongoing “passive and stretched prosecution” of Zuma, without any constructive outcome by the NPA, is a point of concern. Many of the high-level criminals from the Zuma-regime are walking free, whilst being identified by the Zondo and Mpati commissions as tainted by evidence that are grounds for their immediate prosecution by the NPA. Lastly, the powerlessness of a Special Tribunal (ST), established by Ramaphosa to help the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to recover money lost by the state institutions through irregular and corrupt means during the Zuma-regime, has offered no significant results.63-67
Several political analysts argue that Ramaphosa lacks the will and intention to deeply reform the ANC, and put forward the idea that his disassociation with the Magashule-Zuma clan sabotages any reform. Evidence shows that these three figures are rather linked through ideology; Ramaphosa, Magashule and Zuma underwrite and respect Marxism-Leninism, which is against any stable system that can endanger the ANC’s politburo’s exclusive empowerment of politics and riches. Ramaphosa, as Jacob Zuma and Ace Magashule, can have many ambitions and can be read as individuals, but to be leaders in the ANC political system (and to stay on), all three must respect, underwrite and perform the ANC’s Marxist-Leninist ideology, not their own. The modus operandi of Ramaphosa’s contemporary political decisions are fully in line with those prescribed by the ANC ideology and policy: their power works through the creation of unstable official institutions and the upholding of the ANC elite’s empowerment on all terrains. In this context, Ramaphosa’s behaviour is equally opportunistic to that of Zuma and Magashule, and perhaps more concealed. Ramaphosa’s public facade does not make him less dangerous than his two comrades. The whole lack of progress on the execution of law and order, and thus the establishment of sound and working institutions such as the NPA and the SAPS, are viewed as suspicious by some political analysts and commentators. Opportunists and their opportunism cannot be rehabilitated; opportunists and their opportunistic groups only disappear when both die.63-67
In closing, the question remains: when is the opportunistic politician the most active and most dangerous for a country’s welfare and future? Various answers are offered: perhaps when a country’s people and systems make it vulnerable for attack and dominance, such as the situation in 1994 when a mass of impoverished black people were manipulated by other black people. Captured by Marxism-Leninism, the ANC spokespeople created the dream of a utopia of freedom, wealth, food, happiness, peace, etc. Instead, their voters are in socio-economic crisis and enslaved and subordinate to an opportunistic elite once more. The second answer may be when the opportunistic black elite are rejected as the regime of the day by other black people. The ANC elite find themselves in this position after the May 2019 elections, as the voting outcome at the ballot box in May show the first signs of rejection. The Institute of Security Studies shows, when comparing the outcomes of the 2014 elections versus the 2019 elections, that the ANC is in a permanent downward spiral. But the ballot box’s results only tell half of the story; the ANC has less than a million inscribed members against a total registered voter population of ±27 million and an eligible voters population of ±37 million. In terms of votes in the May-elections, the ANC obtained an insignificant part of less than 28% of the official voters’ cake. It is clear that the ANC only obtained and held the government for over 25 years by the country’s undemocratic election legislation. Furthermore, Ramaphosa’s election as president of the ANC (and thus also state president) tells a story of insignificance: he was elected by slightly more than 2 000 out of 4 000 delegates (representing 1-million ANC-members) in 2017 at the Nasrec national conference of the ANC (his majority over the next candidate was less than 200 votes). His position of power in the ANC (statistically calculated in terms of 1 million ANC members) is 0.2%. When this meagre amount of 2 000 votes for Ramaphosa by the ANC delegates are calculated in terms of democratic election principles, he only received a 0.06% mandate from the eligible 37 million voters.24,25,59,69-75
Three outcomes become clear here. Firstly, the ANC elite’s Marxist-Leninist model is outdated. Its total failure over 25 years of reign confirms this point. Secondly, the ANC elite know that their 28% portion of the eligible 37 million population of voters means that they are going to lose the 2024 elections if the country’s election legislation is changed to make future elections democratic. Thirdly, Ramaphosa knows that, in a new election dispensation, he will lose power. Behind his arrogance and bravado as the so-called elected South African state president, he is aware that his presidency is a dictatorship forced upon South Africa by the ANC’s communist model. The current opportunists of the ANC elite, especially its “Top Six” leaders, will attempt to remain in power, at the cost of destabilising the country’s legal system. Indeed, in this situation the ANC elite may even attempt a coup before the 2024 elections.24,25,59,69-75
It is clear that the post 2017 ANC regime differs very little from the pre-2017 one. The same opportunist politicians remain key role-players and are driven by the same criminal opportunism of the old ANC elite. A definitive profile of a regime in trouble has emerged; a regime in which the elite is desperately trying to uphold its Marxism-Leninism politics. Working to this end, the ANC regime is becoming more and more dangerous.
Tristan Taylor76, a South African political philosopher, writes comprehensively on the post-1994 political situation and opportunistic politics of the country, when he posits76:6:
How did the ANC get to this stage? A combination of considered policy and effective implementation marked the early years of the ANC’s rule. The government electrified townships, built houses and clinics, started to create a black middle class, institutionalised a progressive constitution and attempted to persuade society to live together and not apart.
Then came Thabo Mbeki’s post-truth HIV policy. Denying the link between HIV and Aids and refusing to roll out antiretrovirals was, putting it mildly, contrary to science. But facts were ignored, party loyalty kicked it, delusion reigned and 300,000 people died.
Like the first hit of tik, the taboo against setting government policy opposed to truth was broken. Contemporary examples include the department of basic education lowering the pass rate to avoid addressing inadequate schooling, and the department of agriculture, land reform & rural development completely ignoring the horrendous drought that is wiping out commercial and emerging agriculture in the Cape provinces.
But the greatest current delusion belongs to President Cyril Ramaphosa. The reality is that large swatches of the ANC are corrupt. The rot stretches from high to low. It has become endemic. But he seems to believe that the unity of the ANC can be maintained while corruption is dealt with in a substantive manner.
That’s contrary to reality. A fantasy. Comrades need to be purged and jailed: blind loyalty to the party must go. President Ramaphosa has to break the ANC in order to save the country. But given the lack of arrest for corruption, this looks almost as likely as a President Zille.
Ramaphosa is not incompetent: he is a perfect Marxist-Leninist leader of the ANC. As an ANC opportunist, he knows what he and the ANC elite want from South Africa, as well as how they are going to obtain it. He will never try to break the corruption and opportunism of the ANC: if he breaks the ANC and its corruption, he loses his power and opportunities inside the ANC’s established circle of opportunism. Endemic corruption is ANC culture; corruption is the heartbeat of the ANC’s unity. Marxism-Leninism is the ANC; opportunism is Marxism-Leninism.
In the next (Article 16), titled: “Critical evaluation of the three main political parties’ capability to steer successful land expropriation in post-2019 South Africa: Part 3-The ANC in perspective (16: Outdate ANC)”, the ability of the ANC to take care of the land expropriation matter, in terms of the political power it received after the elections of 8 May 2019, will further be evaluated.
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Not commissioned; External peer-reviewed.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The author declares that he has no competing interest.
The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.
UNSUITABLE TERMS AND INAPPROPRIATE WORDS
Please note that I, the author, is aware that the words Creole, Bantu, Kaffir, Native, Hottentot and Bushman are no longer suitable terms and are inappropriate (even criminal) for use in general speech and writing in South Africa (Even the words non-White and White are becoming controversial in the South African context). The terms do appear in dated documents and are used or translated as such in this article for the sake of historical accuracy. Their use is unavoidable within this context. It is important to retain their use in this article to reflect the racist thought, speech and writings of as recently as sixty years ago. These names form part of a collection of degrading names commonly used in historical writings during the heyday of apartheid and the British imperial time. In reflecting on the leaders and regimes of the past, it is important to foreground the racism, dehumanization and distancing involved by showing the language used to suppress and oppress. It also helps us to place leaders and their sentiments on a continuum of racism. These negative names do not represent my views and I distance myself from the use of such language for speaking and writing. In my other research on the South African populations and political history, I use Blacks, Whites, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaners, Coloureds, KhoiSan (Bushmen), KhoiKhoi (Hottentots) and Boers as applicable historically descriptive names.