MEDIA STATEMENT REGARDING THE #FREEJACOBZUMA CAMPAIGN, AND CONCOMITANT DEMANDS
Date: Friday, 16 July 2021
The chronology of events leading to the imprisonment of President Jacob Zuma is littered with evidence that amounts to judicial abuse of the constitutional and criminal justice system of our country. It is not on account of any evidence against any wrong doing by President Zuma, but the denial of his rights to justice that has divided our country.
A lie has consequently been peddled and gained currency in the media, portraying President Zuma as a lawless person when in fact those entrusted with our judicial system seemed hell-bent at getting him into prison by whatever means necessary to the extent of subverting our criminal and civil justice system.
When there were those of us who warned that the imprisonment of President Zuma will have serious consequences, and could lead to instability and unrest, our sincerely meant warnings were rejected. We were abused, and called all kinds of names. We warned that the prejudiced manner in which President Zuma had been targeted, and state law enforcement agencies had been abused to persecute him, was undermining the rule of law.
Our contention had always been that the targeting, and persecution, of President Zuma is political and factional, and that any genuine and lasting solution has to be political, and must be part of the fundamental and radical economic transformation of our country.
We are not oblivious to the fact that the legal persecution of President Zuma is inspired by his stance on White Monopoly Capital (WMC) disguised through portraying President Zuma as a corrupt person. It is against this background that our demands on the release of President Zuma are linked to the various demands pertaining to the economy.
We further note that there are opportunistic attempts to try and hold those of us who have issued these genuine warnings responsible for the violence. This is dishonesty of the worst kind. To try and now turn those of us who have warned about the dire consequences of triumphalist and reckless actions in to scapegoats, is disingenuous and the pinnacle of political opportunism and cynicism.
Let us be crystal clear: We do not support violence. Our principled opposition against the long-time persecution, and now political imprisonment of President Zuma, have always been peaceful and within the confines of the law. We have never called for lawlessness, and violence.
We take note of the fact that there are many criminal opportunists who have ridden at the back of the genuine protest against the injustice meted out at President Zuma for their ill-gain. We stand opposed to any looting, burning or destruction of property, more so that in many instances such has occurred where it hurt black businesses in black townships setting back the township economy. We are not leading a criminal assault, but a legitimate revolutionary course where criminality will never be tolerated.
Having stated this as an indisputable fact we have to emphasize that the current waves of unrest must be repressed not by an iron fist of brute force, but an inclusive dispensation which all citizens can rightfully claim to be their constitutional democracy. For as long as the high levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment persist in our country, it will be for so long that the masses of the people will show no respect for our lofty constitutionalism.
For as long as the legacy of apartheid persists, for so long that the populace their majority will behave as they did under apartheid. Ours as leaders of society is to forge the kind of socio-economic dispensation consistent with our claim of a constitutional democracy if we are to instill law abiding citizenship. We should redirect our energy at radical socio-economic transformation, rather than policing White Monopoly Capital interests.
What is required now is brutal analytical honesty.
Evidently the ill-conceived imprisonment of President Zuma was the spark in a proverbial powder keg. Thus, steps to release President Zuma with immediate effect from his unjust political incarceration must be taken.
Only a free President Zuma can address our nation and call for calm. President Zuma is against any criminal action against any business, but as long as he is unfairly imprisoned his hands are tied. Yet, the media and others continue to call the criminal action by looters Zuma supporters, because in their books President Zuma is all that is criminal. This is also aimed at delegitimizing anyone who protest against the unjust incarceration of President Zuma as a looter and therefore a criminal.
This is whilst they honestly know that looting in South Africa is associated with any social crisis, because the poor are ever waiting to scavenge whenever an opportunity avails. The looting poor are in fact an indictment against the ANC government. We therefore cannot simply see such people merely as looters, and not also as people awaiting an elusive radical socio-economic transformation to bridge the massive historic inequality gap.
That in Gauteng the protests were more pronounced first in Alexandra is telling, as the divide between that place and Sandton defines what South Africa is all about, a two economy State, one poor and predominantly black and the other wealthy and predominantly white.
However - and this every South African must be very clear about - the release of President Zuma, and him intervening in this fundamental crisis, will not provide a long term solution for stability to restore and rebuild our ravished and torn apart society. We will have to embark on a process that must lead to the fundamental and radical socio-economic transformation of our country.
We are not oblivious as to the actual reason behind President Zuma’s unfair treatment by the judiciary. Having overseen the adoption in 2012 of the Radical Economic Transformation agenda as the Second Phase of our National Democratic Transition meant he led a direct assault on White Monopoly Capital. And for this sin alone a smokescreen has been created to characterize him as the most corrupt, when none has laid a winnable case against him in any court of law.
Instead a fishing expedition to find some wrong doing was instituted by the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and supported by the High Court to illegally and unconstitutionally impose a Commission of Enquiry into State Capture to find some wrong doing. If those alleging President Zuma broke any law had any evidence they would have laid a charge, instead of conducting an expensive and useless Commission of Enquiry.
The current super exploitative capitalist economic model, that only serves the interests of the rich few, and even devours the small black middle-class, while plunging the vast majority of black poor into ever deepening levels of despair will have to be uprooted and replaced by a socially responsible and indigenously owned and controlled economy that will serve the needs and interests of the majority of black (especially African) South Africans.
Thus, we have to be unequivocally clear that the strangle hold that White Monopoly Capitalism (WMC) has on our economy - literally squeezing the last drop of blood out of the black poor - has to come to an urgent, and immediate, end. And this is the prime sin by President Zuma, to believe that change must happen.
Let us not beat about the bush: White Monopoly Capitalism, and the parasitic black compradore capitalists that enables the continued exploitation of our people, are our main enemies. They must be declared persona non grata. Their removal from power and continuing control over our economy and lives, is non-negotiable and cannot wait a day longer. It is our revolutionary mantra for which we know many of us will be charged through conjured up smokescreen allegations.
Their miss-handling and abuse of the COVID-19 pandemic, to repress and exploit the majority of black poor South Africans even more is unforgivable. The whole scale looting of COVID-19 relief funds, which was meant to provide relief to the poorest of the poor, have reached unfathomable depths of depravity! For as long as they remain in power the suffering and exploitation of the majority of black (especially African) South Africans will continue unabated.
South Africa has a leadership crisis across the board. Yet only President Zuma had to carry the sins of all such failures and is accordingly crucified. Some in the clergy are failing to reign in their counterparts who abuse religion for self-enrichment, yet such leaders focus all their energy in condemning President Zuma. The Chief Justice warned us about a judiciary that is being captured yet, there is no Commission of Enquiry in the Capture of the Judiciary. High levels of inequality persist which goes against the text and spirit of our constitutional order, yet the government has not decisively stated what needs to be done except to allay fears for investors into an economy that serves White Monopoly Capital (WMC).
In this regard, the following demands are crucial:
- President Zuma must be released forthwith, and all the legal targeting and persecution that he has endured (including the sham of an ‘arms deal case’) must stop forthwith.
- The mines and key strategic industries and means of production must be nationalized.
- The South African Reserve Bank must be nationalized.
- A State Bank must be established without delay, and our national banks must be focused on specific areas of industrial development. Several black banks must be established, through easing their entrance into the financial sector. Similarly the insurance industry must be unlocked for the emergence - and ultimate control - of black players.
- There must be mining beneficiation, based on the principle of mining at home and manufacturing at home.
- Overall, the strangle hold and control of White Monopoly over the wealth of our country must be broken. This includes fighting real state capture by white oligarchs and a handful of their white families.
- Free quality education, and ensuring the dignity of the black child.
- The stringent COVID-19 lockdown regulations must cease, because they are being abused to repress freedom of political expression and freedom of speech.
- The BRICS alliance that has been neglected and de-campaigned under the Ramaphosa government, must be resuscitated and strengthened.
- Rural development must be prioritized. This must be done along the lines of the radical transformation of the ownership of the agricultural sector in order to ensure that it is black (especially African) controlled and owned.
- The immediate and full implementation the Resolution of the 54th National Conference of the ANC for the expropriation of land without compensation.
- A living wage for all public sector workers, especially the police and nurses.
- All SOE’s must be protected from being privatized, and those (such as SAA) that have already been privatized, and sold, must be re-nationalized.
- Overall, free education, vocational training, and employment must be guaranteed for all of those who are willing and able to work.
In pursuing these demands, we are uncompromising in our objective to do away with the compromising, sell-out, CODESA settlement that has left the indigenous people of our country hungry and mired in poverty, while promoting white privilege and the continued control of white monopoly capitalists over our economy.
We are uncompromising in our commitment to address unemployment, mostly of young black people. This scourge of unemployment was caused by the deliberate disinvestment strike by white monopoly companies for over two decades, which forced our country to lower investment rates to pitiful levels - far lower than those of similar developing countries with comparable economies.
It is evident that White Corporate South Africa sees our country as a place for exploitation, and the maximizing of super profits at the cost of the lives and futures of our people. Ultimately they do not care at all about the future of our country. They behave in classic colonial fashion. We demand of them to reinvest in this economy and create much needed employment for our people since they had already benefitted tenfold without the beneficiation of the previously disadvantaged indigenous people.
The return of land to its rightful owners is non-negotiable. It is absolutely critical, and central in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid. Land was central to the bloody wars of resistance of our people against the colonists, and their forceful dispossession through wanton land theft. The land must be nationalized, and made available for utilization by the landless masses so as to increase their economic empowerment and overall socio-economic status. Thus, the full implementation of the Resolution of the 54th National Conference of the ANC on land expropriation without compensation must be implimented without delay or compromise.
Overall our demands are for an equitable black (specifically African) owned and controlled economy. We are almost 30 years into our democratic breakthrough, and yet the economy of the country continues to be in the hands of a white minority that hates and mercilessly exploits black South Africans. They hate even those compradore black capitalist agents who enable their continuing exploitation of the vast majority of black people. They are thriving on dividing and ruling us. This very same minority of white monopoly capitalists have funded our greedy and corrupt leaders to bribe their way into winning the leadership elections at the 54th National Conference of the ANC, and thus caused the current political factionalism and divisions among black South Africans.
Our campaign to #ReleaseJacobZuma, and for these demands to be implemented, will not cease until our objective to achieve a truly liberated and economically empowered country is achieved. Failing to do so is not an option, because the terrible alternative we live and see right now, and it is truly to ghastly to contemplate.
Our demands, as contained in this media statement, will be delivered tomorrow to President Cyril Ramaphosa. In the light of the urgency of the situation we expect a response within 14 days.
A LUTA CONTINUA!
Issued by: Carl Niehaus (KZN & Gauteng), Andile Lungisa (Eastern Cape), Nkosentsha Shezi (KZN), Phapano Phasha (Gauteng), Shirley Willemse (KZN), Londi Shezi (KZN), Pascaline Nqobile Mazibuko (Mpumalanga), Tshepiso Mishack Boksraal (Limpopo), Boipelo Jarvis (Northern Cape), Olebogeng Leserwane (Northern Cape), Castro Setlhogomi (Northern Cape), Lufuno Gogoro (Gauteng), Gundo Munyai (Gauteng), Brian Tloubatla (Gauteng), Lopang Rothman (North West), Banele Nkosi (Mpumalanga), Thembinkosi Mgidi (Eastern Cape).
Issued by Carl Niehaus, 16 July 2021