Zuma and the "enemy within"

Paul Trewhela
16 October 2012

Paul Trewhela says there was a whiff of political thuggery in ANC President's address to MKMVA conference

There was a whiff of political thuggery in Jacob Zuma's opening speech at the elective conference of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in Boksburg last weekend.

The extremism of his language provides confirmation of the warning last month by Siphiwe Nyanda, an underground hero of MK in the fight against the apartheid regime (and later chief of the SA National Defence Force and then a government minister), that MKMVA has been unconstitutionally transformed into Zuma's "private army."

Irrespective of any issues of business ethics that might or might not attach to General Nyanda, this is a warning from the very top of South Africa's political elite that may not be ignored.

The language of Zuma's speech comes out of the history of human rights abuses in the ANC in exile, as documented in three internal ANC commissions of inquiry (the reports of the Stuart Commission, 1984, the Skweyiya Commission, 1992, and the Motsuenyane Commission, 1993) as well as inquiries by Amnesty International (report, 1992) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Final Report, 1998. Volume 2, Chapter 4, Sections 98-180).

In his speech to the MKMVA conference, Zuma did not refer to his critics in the ANC of being political opponents of his candidacy in seeking a second term, or of his record and his programme, or of being political rivals, or any other term in the language of a parliamentary democracy - but as the "enemy within."

That "enemy within" is the language and mindset of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century - in Russia, Germany, Italy, China, Cambodia and elsewhere. It was also the language of the ANC security department in exile, Mbokodo ("the grindstone", in isiXhosa), of which Jacob Zuma was one of its top commanders in the period immediately before and after his return from exile, and in which Quatro, the ANC's main prison camp in Angola, fell under his authority. (Mr Zuma declined to appear before the TRC).

This is the language learned by Mr Zuma during his military training in the former Soviet Union. (He is tight-lipped about his CV, and his biography by Jeremy Gordin carries no information concerning his training as a very senior security official, normally undertaken under the Stasi secret police in the former German Democratic Republic).

The state broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, reported his speech on the same evening as his Boksburg speech, as follows:

"The ANC had to beware of the enemy within its organisation, President Jacob Zuma said today. 'The enemy is always present in different guises, sizes and shapes,' Zuma said in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

"'OR Tambo warned us all the time,' he said, referring to former African National Congress president Oliver Tambo, who was quoted as saying: 'Beware of the enemy within; remain vigilant"'."

The SABC reported further verbal attacks in Zuma's speech on "alien tendencies" within the ANC, on those who wanted the ANC "to be destroyed in front of our own eyes", "people who don't like this revolution and are trying to destroy it."

Also in his speech (though not reported by the SABC) was the most deadly phrase used constantly in the killing, torture and incarceration of brave and honest individuals who stood up for democracy and accountability and against corruption in the ANC in exile: the lethal words, "enemy agents."

Here South Africa's President stepped into the boots of the former Mbokodo chief. As the TRC concluded, Mbokodo (as led by Zuma and others) had been "responsible for...gross violations of human rights...against suspected 'enemy agents' and mutineers." (TRC Final Report, Volume 2, Chapter 4, Section 180).

Here, the term "mutineers" covers the strangest so-called "mutiny" in history - a pro-democracy movement within the ANC in Angola in 1984, in which so-called "mutineers" wanted to be sent to the front, back to South Africa to fight, rather than continue to be squandered (as they saw it) in a pointless civil war far away. As the TRC concluded, the term "enemy agents" was the cover within the ANC in exile for a systemic regime of "gross violations of human rights."

True to its totalitarian heritage, the Young Communist League in Gauteng - mobilised as another detachment of Zuma's "private army", to use General Nyanda's phrase - called sycophantically the next day for a purge of "renegades", "ill-disciplined elements" and "elitist groupings" opposing Zuma. (The Times, 13 October 2012)

Now add the following to these menacing sentiments.

In a survey published the same day as Zuma's Boksburg peroration, the Mail & Guardian in its current issue carried an article by Niren Tolsi and Matuma Letsaolo under the front-page heading "Branches 'rigged' to boost Jacob Zuma," claiming Zuma's cronies have rigged ANC membership figures across the country to secure his re-election at the party's conference at Mangaung in December.

This follows massive coverage in the print media over previous weeks of exorbitant state expenditure to benefit Zuma's private fiefdom at Nkandla in rural KwaZulu Natal.

In his column this week, Justice Malala argues that as a result of political engineering of this kind Zuma is more or less "through" in his campaign to secure a second term, while his "hapless opposition is stuttering to a halt."

In the wake of the downgrading of South Africa's credit terms last month, Malala predicts: "The wanton looting of taxpayers' money, such as that to build Zuma a palace in Nkandla, will not abate. Expect more of the same as security legislation is used to stop scrutiny of such looting. The likes of Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi - who has started an investigation into who the whistle-blower on the R238-million Nkandla expenditure was, while failing to lift a finger to stop the rot itself - will be amply rewarded with promotions."

All this, while not a single policeman has been stood down, in the wake of the massacre at Marikana on 16 August, when - as reported with thoroughgoing professionalism by Greg Marinovich - there seems no doubt that individual miners were deliberately and consciously killed at short range by serving policemen, while either wounded, attempting to hide, or trying to surrender with their hands in the air - a massacre, worse than Sharpeville in its quality of cold-blooded horror (see here and here).

Since then, further research by Jared Sacks has provided serious reason to conclude that an undemocratic, intolerant and stalinistic trade union elite, as co-dependents in Zuma's political hegemony, provoked the events leading to the massacre of 16 August, with two killings of their own at Marikana five days previously.

The climate of unconstitutional, violent threat which permeated the MKMVA conference last weekend - an organisation whose leadership is already subject to legal action by its membership on grounds of alleged corruption and unaccountability - was put in further sharp relief by the speech delivered to it by Sidumo Dlamini, the president of COSATU, when he stated on 14 October: "We've got to have MKMVA members using their guerrilla military skills to work with us on the ground to defend this movement and our revolution as a whole which is being threatened by demagogues...".

This comes perilously close to the language of the coup.

It would be hard to think of further proof of Dr Mamphela Ramphele's warning last April about the perils of South Africa's "culture of impunity" and its drive "towards a closed, unaccountable and corrupt state."

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 responses to this article

Have you lost the plot?
The "enemy within" can be traced to even biblical times with even 'blasphemers" and the devil...or even later with The Art of War by the 6th century B.C. Chinese general Sun Tzu with his words on weakening the enemy from within.

Yet to give the . .more

by . on October 16 2012, 20:58
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Can not shake off the terrorist cloak.

by wm on October 16 2012, 23:02
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splitting hairs and dancing on pinheads spotty?
There is also nothing new under the sun.
The commies perfected subversion,but that the brother breeder used rough language is true and in keeping with his limited intellect.
He thinks that if he gatkr%$s business,the Brits or Davos,sings about . .more

by Pedro on October 16 2012, 23:25
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Hahahaha great post again, absolute junk, as you know, but a great post. Where do you get all this stuff from - that is what is amazing. Keep it up. I do hope you are not really an ANC supporter.

by Dot Fan on October 16 2012, 23:29
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Singing and dancing to respectability!
I have my problems with Trewhela's over the top paranoia, but this once, I agree with him. Too many observers, including Gordin's biography (hagiography?) have breezily brushed past Zuma's history with Mbokodo and sought to undeservedly imbue him - . .more

by Jean Racine on October 16 2012, 23:36
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SA - "towards a closed, unaccountable and corrupt state".

Talk about dejavu....
"Also in ZUMA's speech was the most deadly phrase used constantly in the killing, torture and incarceration of brave and honest individuals who stood up for democracy and accountability and against corruption in the ANC in . .more

by John Austin on October 16 2012, 23:43
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DOT - The ANC's "Deployed" Blogger
Come on DOT, out with it - how much are you being paid by the scumbag ANC? As I have said before, any person with a hint of any kind of scruples, decency or basic morals would keep well clear of this vile organisation, and your remuneration must therefore . .more

by Democrat on October 17 2012, 07:14
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And speaking of Vile Organisations...
Please let us not forget what the UK's Daily Mirror carried as a headline during Zuma's last visit:

"Why are we fawning over this vile buffoon?"

That really sums it up in a nutshell.

by Democrat on October 17 2012, 07:17
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@ Pedro

Has it ever occured to you that what most decent folk want, in simple terms, is a country with a future?

JZ, safe behind his rhetoric and as dangerously entertaining as he may be, with his clownish dancing and not so clownish calls for . .more

by Marc V on October 17 2012, 08:24
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Journalism used as a weapon
I wonder if we are witnessing character assassination again just like before Polokwane but the man is still standing, JZ is a man who has his faults and short comings but cannot be taken down unless he himself offers to. All this media channels used to . .more

by Lehlogonolo on October 17 2012, 08:31
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Paul Trewhela

WOW! Such a dramatic piece. You really know how to blow a paragraph into a whole story.

I urge those who have comments to say to either read/listen to the ENTIRE speech before formulating an opinion.Make an informed . .more

by Sumbodi on October 17 2012, 08:56
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Hahahahahaha *standing ovation*

As always. You have put me on the floor with laughter! Great stuff! Absolutely marvelous!

by Dot Fan's Fan on October 17 2012, 08:57
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Trewhela's inside view
This is indeed a terrifying evolutionary process. The monster is emerging from his buffoon drag We are not surprised. This has been the anc trajectory since the 50s.

by DavidJ on October 17 2012, 09:43
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Why these stories now on the eve of Mangaung?
I have yet to see in this country anything positive written about freedom fighters. NOBODY is an angel in this worlld and this was proven by Christ when he said let the one without sin cast the first stone.Zuma is also no angel and so are his detractors. . .more

by GADLAZA on October 17 2012, 12:01
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Trewala is always insightful and worth reading
Reading all the comments sadly shows that all those whom seemingly support Zuma play the man, thus feeding into and supporting Paul's worrying article against those showing concern who seemingly are after greater clarity, openness in politics and clearly . .more

by Jon Quirk on October 17 2012, 13:10
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spec savers, heeeeres Mark V
@Mark V why does my rubbishing of the tribesman as a leader leave you thinking that I don't want stability and peace?
When I criticize people who excuse and justify Apartheid,I am doing just that.
Why do so many saffers seem to have a problem . .more

by Pedro on October 17 2012, 14:21
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by Democrat
In some (odd) relationships, as you may know and perhaps expect, male "affection" can cost a bundle...

by Injala Apera on October 17 2012, 14:22
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Actually, I agree with much of your original post.

What irks me is the tired assumption in this benighted country of ours that one is either a slavish ANC drone, or an unreconstituted Apartheid leftover. I would venture that there is . .more

by Marc V on October 17 2012, 14:43
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Enemy within
General Nyanda was correct in drawing attention to the fact that MKMVA is not a private army of President Jacob Zuma. Perhaps one should add that MKMVA will not save President Zuma from the judge of history. Those who shout loudest about the enemy from . .more

by Ceduma Nocubhe Cape Town on October 17 2012, 14:56
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@John Austin
Did you had pass information to anyone in South Africa? including pictures?

by . on October 17 2012, 15:44
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@Jon Quirk
It seems only fair given how he "played the man" in his article....if you can't take it, don't dish it...the language of a coup is very similar to the language of scaremongering..

by . on October 17 2012, 16:09
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by Democrat on October 17 2012, 07:14
You really don't amount to much do you? The ANC have no need to pay anyone to write comments on a political blog thats a gathering area for a few old fogeys longing for a return to apartheid. There really is no threat from you lot being able to influence . .more

by . on October 17 2012, 16:17
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...of course not.

We were onto the drugs & German takeaway regional cartel grey market.

We needed to b e got rid of, but had done nothing wrong - just doing what we were lawfully employed by the Zim govt to do.... catch smugglers, . .more

by John Austin on October 17 2012, 16:38
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....forgot to mention the SA sanctions busting scam uncovered just prior to detention also.

This involved SA fruit (mangoes) from Durban, via Lilongwe, to Harare, for the middle east customer using AIR INDIA as the long haul carrier. AIR . .more

by John Austin on October 17 2012, 16:50
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Stop the lie
Paul Trewhela you consistant distortion is legendary. Everyone can see what Zuma was referring when he mentioned enermies within his own party. Of cause ANC has enermies within its own ranks. So please stop pretending as if enermies within can only be . .more

by JB on October 17 2012, 18:42
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JZ's enemy within.
Poor old JZ. Time aftr time he opens his mouth and says things off the cuff, and manages to make a complete A*** of himself. I really have a battle wanting to know whether he is just so dom, or whether he was in fact dropped on his head when he was a . .more

by RENEGADE, VAGABOND's cousin. on October 17 2012, 20:58
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that's adhd not astigmatism
@MarcV with apologies for the slip.
I agree entirely with your latest response.
In fact that's exactly what I was saying so we need to find some cheap lithium.
There are also thousands of quiet,hugely committed citizens of all shades . .more

by Pedro on October 17 2012, 22:25
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Mugabe never kept sanctions
He exported all Zimbabwe's products through SA ports during the whole period of sanctions. (ref: Mark Gevisser)

by Lyndall Beddy on October 18 2012, 10:12
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by Braaitjie on October 18 2012, 13:23
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