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Zuma takes on white monopoly capital

by Thabo Kunene
10 Jul 2017 at 11:25hrs | Views
Johannesburg - When president Jacob Zuma's term expires in 2019,many South Africans will remember him as the leader who risked his presidency by taking on white monopoly capital-the powerful apartheid era private corporations which control  the economy.
These private corporations are said to have benefitted massively from apartheid economic policies.

The so-called WMC control big businesses,mining,banking sector,industries,media and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) formerly Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). At the closing of their policy conference in Johannesburg last week,ruling African National Congress (ANC) leaders agreed to drop the word "white" and use monopoly capital.

This was after an outcry from some business quarters and civic groups.
Zuma's critics who include the opposition,civic groups and student organisations argue that under his leadership,South Africa is falling apart. ANC's divorce with its alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU is almost a done deal. SACP leaders who stood by Zuma during his faction wars with Thabo Mbeki-have now turned against him.

They have all publicly asked him to step down but he has ignored their calls.The most vocal of the communists has been Blade Nzimande who has become the enemy number one for the ANC Youth League which backs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for the party leadership at the December elective conference. Nzimande said his call for Zuma to step down was not personal but good for the country. Nzimande's SACP is backing deputy president Cycil Ramaphosa.

Time magazine carried a report saying South Africa was now 10th risk in the world.This means the investment climate is not condusive.In May US car manufacturing giant, General Motors announced it was pulling out of the country.

The company has been operating in South Africa since 1926.Zuma,who headed the ANC military intelligence organisation, Mbokodo in exile,is fully aware of the consequences of his actions.By taking on the white monopoly capital,Zuma knew they would come after him with guns blazing and he appears ready for the fight.

He now has the radical Black Land First (BLF) organisation behind him.The opposition is breathing down his neck and they have gone to court to ask for a secret ballot in a vote of no confidence in parliament.This appears to be the opposition's last desperate attempt to remove him from power.

Zuma has also been warned to handle the land issue with special care-avoiding the Zimbabwe chaos which forced that country's agricultural based economy to collapse.Zimbabwe which used to feed some African countries in the past,is now a basket case.More than 2 Million Zimbabweans have fled the country for greener pastures in neighbouring countries and Europe.

The current wave of attacks directed at Zuma were sparked by the dismissal of finance minister, Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.Gordhan's dismissal has been welcomed by many blacks in the townships of Soweto. Black people say Gordhan did nothing to advance the cause of the previously disadvantaged blacks in the townships.

"Gordhan's firing was good riddance to bad rubbish.He was against black economic empowerment. We dont need him in our country," said Sifiso Nkabinde who runs a thriving shisa nyama business and restaurant in Thokoza township.According to Nkabinde, white South Africans always praise Mandela and Mbeki because the two former presidents did not touch their businesses or threaten to take the land and allocate it to blacks.

"I dont know much about Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe,but I hear he did a good job by kicking out whites from their farms.Zimbabweans now have their land back while we continue to live in abject poverty," complained Nkabinde as he rushes to attend to impatient customers.Another business man, Tsepo Tshiyane said if a white man praised a black man, that black man must be a puppet.

Zuma's supporters don't want him to stop with radical economic transformation but go further and repossess the land.The ANC has also propossed that land be expropriated without compensation in some cases.But if Zuma wants to follow Mugabe's example,he must brace himself for a showdown with thousands of white farmers who own most of the land.

Unlike their Zimbabwean counterparts,white farmers in South Africa pose a serious threat to the government.Most of them are former soldiers who fought in the apartheid government sponsored cross border wars which included Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola.The farmers,still armed and dangerous,consider themselves the rightful owners of the land despite being descendants of Dutch settlers.The Natives Land Act of 1913 awarded the ownership of 87 percent of land to white South Africans of European descent.

The BLF organisation led by Andile Mngxitama is now fully behind Zuma despite having political differences. Mngxitama was expelled from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) after he became disillusioned with its leader, Julius Malema. He accused Malema of having the same tendences as the ANC the party which expelled him in 2012.BLF calls itself a socialist movement and has been active in waging verbal and physical attacks against what it calls "racist journalists" from the white media.

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Source - Thabo Kunene

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