Black First Land First (BLF) is appalled by the systematic attacks on the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The attacks are synchronized and well coordinated by agents of white monopoly capital (WMC). The sin of the Public Protector was to find that ABSA must pay back the money it stole from the people and that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) must stop being a tool of capitalist accumulation and to this end, it must serve the interests of the people.
The campaign of vilification and constant loud voices calling for the Public Protector to step down are calculated to wear her down and finally bully her into being an agent of WMC just like her predecessor, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, who served WMC with distinction.
BLF is not surprised that Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, is being hauled before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services (the Committee) today, 6 March 2018, to answer questions inter alia on her report relating to the Estina’s /Dairy Farm project; as well as why she had called for the terms of reference of the judicial commission of inquiry (JCOI) on state capture to be extended “beyond the recommendations of the remedial action of her predecisor Thuli Madonsela, who investigated the allegations”.
The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) obtained an order from the High Court, Free State Division, Bloemfontein in case number 168/2018 on 18 January 2018 for the preservation of certain property in terms of Section 38 of the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act, Act 121 of 1998, (POCA). The court order evidently relates to Vrede Dairy Farm saga. This application is currently opposed and sub judice. It is under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from consideration before another forum. Furthermore the those ordered by the preservation order are subjected to a court proceedings in the criminal courts which in turn is still in its early stages.
Questioning of the Public Protector on her report relating to the Vrede Dairy Farm project, in the context of the matter being a subject of adjudication before both the High Court and the criminal court in Free State, amounts to not only interference in the independence of the judiciary but also the running of a parallel system to adduce evidence to supplement or make the State’s case. This is corruption in service of WMC.
The approach of the judiciary to the actions of the Public Protector, Mkhwebane, has strong racist under and over tones. To this end her remedial action – which was set aside by the North Gauteng High Court on 16 February this year – that compels the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to recover in excess of R1-billion from Absa in respect of monies stolen from SARB during apartheid; and the prior ruling against her report when the Court said in 2017 that she did not have any powers “to call for a constitutional amendment to modify the Reserve Bank’s mandate” – are instructive.
On 19 June 2017 Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane as the Public Protector found amongst others that the South African Government and SARB had failed to recover an amount of R3.2 billion from ABSA that was stolen as indicated above and suggested in the CIEX report. Furthermore, the Public Protector said that ABSA must pay back an amount of R1.125 billion.
BLF made submissions to Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane on the Ciex report which in turn clearly shows that an amount in excess of R26 billion was unlawfully taken from the SARB during the last decade of the apartheid rule. The entities that were identified in the report as having unlawfully benefitted from the said R26 billion include Aerospatiale/Daimler-Chrysler; Absa; Rembrandt (now Remgro); Sanlam; and Armscor.
The investigation during the tenure of the previous Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, focused only on the unlawful benefit accrued to ABSA and not on the entire R26 Billion. In this regard BLF called inter alia for the Public Protector, Adv Mkhwebane to facilitate the institution a JCOI on the CIEX Recommendations which in turn calls for the extension of the terms of reference of the JCOI to go beyond the recommendations of the remedial action suggested by the former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela.
Such a JCOI was meant to clarify how the full R26 billion was unlawfully taken from the SARB. There is no compellable reason to doubt the authenticity of CIEX as a report that is a product of a legitimate state contract with other parties. CIEX was commissioned and paid for by the post 1994 government. It is therefore a product of the people of South Africa and its recommendations warrant serious consideration. In this context President Zuma was called upon to include the Ciex recommendations as one of the areas to be inquired into.
Regarding the limited scope of the JCOI on state capture suggested by the former Public Protector, the call of the current Public Protector, Adv Mkhwebane, to extend the said terms is legitimate.
On its part on 10 December 2016, BLF had already called for the limited scope of the JCOI on state capture to be extended. We asked that the JCOI – already requested by us on 31 March 2016 for state capture by white capital – be extended to allow for all complaints on state capture including on the Guptas, the Ruperts and the banks.
To this end we asked for the scope of the JCOI to include:
a. an inquiry into whether the amnesty awarded to the applicants in terms of the the Exchange Control and Tax Amnesty Act, 2003 is part of state capture
b. the Ciex recommendations
c. whether the concessions given to the applicants in terms of the 2010 VDP who had engaged in capital flight and other economic crimes amounts to state capture
d. all the aspects on white corruption indicated in the findings of the BLF report, “Preliminary report on apartheid era corruption and other economic crimes” which it released on 29 September 2015. This report can be accessed from the following link: https://blf.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/blf-preliminary-report-white-corruption1.pdf.
e. state capture” by white capital. To this end the involvement of the following people both personally and in their stated capacities was asked to be inquired into:
1. SA Businessman and Chairman of Richemont , Johann Rupert
2. Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Maria Ramos;
3. Goldman Sachs’ South Africa head Colin Coleman;
4. Investec Bank’s global CEO, Stephen Koseff;
5. Imperial Holdings’ CEO, Mark Lamberti;
6. Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk;
7. Business Leadership South Africa chairperson Bobby Godsell;
8. Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl
9. First Rand CEO Johan Burger
f. the tenure of Coleman Andrews at the South African Airways (SAA) as Chief Executive Officer.
g. Pravin Gordhan’s conduct as well as his fitness to hold any public office. To this end his state of being conflicted, compromised and captured by white monopoly capital in his former position as Minister of Finance by virtue of having shares in the various businesses including banks that have been responsible for firing Des van Rooyen and hiring him as Minister of Finance – is instructive.
h. Absa and 16 others for the theft of R26 billion from SARB
i. illegal conduct of Minister Pravin Gordhan who had signed a deal with Bain & Co (a business owned by Coleman Andrews) to privatise 25% of the SAA and to this end had directed the Board to effect his decision.
j. the conduct of the following 17 banks that were found guilty on 15 February 2017 by the Competition Commission of collusion:
1. ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA)
2. Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd
3. Investec Ltd
4. Barclays Capital Inc,
5.Barclays Bank plc
6. BNP Paribas
7. Standard New York Securities Inc
8. HSBC Bank Plc
9. Standard Chartered Bank
10. Credit Suisse Group
11. Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited
12. Commerzbank AG
13. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
14. Nomura International Plc
15. Macquarie Bank Limited
16. JP Morgan Chase & Co
17. JP Morgan Chase Bank
k. the conduct of the former Ministers of Finance, Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene which involves the mismanagement of R4.3 billion under their watch and during their respective tenures.
l. the conduct of Steinhoff and its entire board of directors including Markus Jooste for fraud, corruption, mismanagement of funds, money laundering, tax evasion, etc involving over R12 billion of public funds.
m. “Lifeboats” given to “The Citizen” relating to the Information Scandal of the 1970s
n. high treason involving Magda Wierzycka; Sygnia; Daily Maverick (DM); and Richar Poplak
o. “Lifeboats” given to white agriculture during the period 1992 to 1994 as “drought relief”
Quite evidently, Adv Mkhwebane’s actions, which were overturned by the Courts, were aimed at bringing banks, individuals and other entities to book for their apartheid era corruption and other economic crimes; as well as implementing radical economic transformation. In both cases the Court had erred in its judgement in service of WMC.
BLF has lost all faith in the judiciary. Our judiciary is an arm of WMC which is used to undermine and to intimidate anyone who wants radical economic transformation and an end to the colonial nature of South African society.
The summoning of the Public Protector before the Committee to interrogate her about the above issues is accordingly not ideologically innocent. This Committee is nothing but a kangaroo court in defence of WMC. We are concerned that it has been turned into a bulldog to cover-up the corruption by WMC.
The conduct of the Courts supplemented by that of the Parliamentary Committee means that WMC entities are given carte blanche to act with impunity. BLF condemns the conduct of both these institutions. We demand, ‘Hands off Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’.
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
6 March 2018
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