South African citizens across the land are speaking out and taking action to express their dissatisfaction. The Nelson Mandela Foundation supports the demand to hold to account those responsible for compromising our democratic state and looting its resources.
Twenty years since Nelson Mandela signed South Africa’s Constitution into law and as the third anniversary of his passing approaches, it is painful for us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation to bear witness to the wheels coming off the vehicle of our state.
We have seen a weakening of critical institutions such as the South African Revenue Service, the National Prosecuting Authority and law enforcement bodies due to political meddling for private interests.
We are reaping the results of a political trend of personalising matters of state around a single individual leader. This in a constitutional democracy is to be deplored.
The ability and commitment of the Head of State to be a ‘constitutional being’, is one of the wheels of our state. The unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court of the Republic in the matter of President Zuma and the use of state resources on a private residence was one such test. It is increasingly a national consensus that he has failed the test.
As this particular wheel rolls away, other critical institutions of state break off to follow it. The legislative, business, and public service sectors of the country are severely affected, compromising the ability of the state to serve the people. A battle now rages to keep SARS attached to the vehicle of state. What public discourse has described as ‘state capture’ by private and political interests is, we believe, a real threat to the Republic.
Another wheel is an accessible and well-functioning education system. Arguably this wheel has never been fully attached, but the failures of the last two decades threaten that it rolls away. Schools, in our view, particularly those in townships and rural areas, have largely been captured to political interests and have deteriorated to unimaginable levels. And now universities are being brought to their knees as they lurch from crisis to crisis while a semblance of normality is enforced under what are effectively states of emergency. This is not sustainable for any education system. The potential collapse of universities will damage our democracy to its core.
We call on the governing party to take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle of state be protected and placed in safe and capable hands. And we join the call for a national convention of stakeholders to begin to reimagine South Africa’s future beyond the unsustainable stresses of the moment.
Written Press Statement by the Nelson Mandela Foundation
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 19, 2016 – Yesterday afternoon, van Der Merwe Associates (“VDMA”) notified the Minister of Finance’s attorneys of their client’s (the Oakbay Group of companies) (www.OakbayInvestments.co.za) intention to oppose the application issued under case number 80978/16 on 14 October 2016 – unless the Minister of Finance withdraws the application and tenders costs by this afternoon – Wednesday 19 October.
VDMA’s letter noted that the Minister of Finance’s affidavit implicated its clients in inappropriate and unlawful conduct. The affidavit also insinuated that VDMA’s clients would “expose the fiscus not only to loss of tax revenue but also put the burden of mining rehabilitation on the fiscus.” which VDMA noted was “uncalled for, malicious and nothing but vexatious.”
VDMA’s client disproved this earlier this week with evidence of the transfer of the Optimum Rehabilitation Trust Fund from Standard Bank to Bank of Baroda, which followed a request by Advocate Thuli Madonsela on 4 October 2016.
VDMA advised its client to oppose the Minister of Finance’s application, obtain all the necessary information from the relevant role players and ask for punitive costs order against dismissal of the application.
VDMA’s letter also stated that the Minister of Finance’s letter has been launched with the financial resources of the tax payer. VDMA’s client does not dispute that Minister of Finance’s is not by law compelled or obliged to intervene in the relationship between VDMA’s clients and the commercial banks. However, VDMA noted that to spend tax payers’ money in “a reckless and inappropriate manner” would constitute a contravention of the provisions of the Public Management Act, No.1 of 1999 – which would warrant “further action against those officials responsible for same.”
Furthermore, VDMA noted that:
“In order that we do not expose the fiscus unnecessarily to costs we propose that the application be withdrawn” – that the Minister of Finance’s application is withdrawn and that the Minister of Finance’s tenders VDMA’s client’s costs, before close of business on 19 October 2016.
VDMA reiterated that the purpose of its letter was to offer the Minister of Finance the opportunity to save taxpayers money.
VDMA also noted that its clients “would like” to put their formal version before court since the Minister of Finance has chosen that forum, so if the application is not withdrawn then “the matter must proceed and we will gladly do the necessary in order to restore the misrepresentation created by the papers.”
VDMA concluded its letter by noting that the Minister of Finance had made “defamatory and untrue remarks towards members of the Gupta Family by insinuating that they have been involved in inappropriate conduct” and that “their rights remain strictly reserved.”
This morning, attorneys for the Minister of Finance declined the offer to withdraw the application and tender COSTs.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 18, 2016 – Gupta Family lawyer, Van Der Merwe Associates, releases a statement on behalf of Mr. Ajay Gupta and Oakbay Investments (www.OakbayInvestments.co.za) in response to the affidavit from Pravin Gordhan.
To reiterate, we are delighted to have received this application. The truth always comes out in the end and we look forward to clearing our name in court.
“South African President Jacob Zuma has asked the courts to prevent the release of the findings of a probe into alleged political interference. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is expected to announce her preliminary findings from an investigation into the Guptas, a controversial family with close ties to Zuma. They’re accused of using their relationship with the president to influence Cabinet appointments. Madonsela’s report can’t be released until the court has ruled on Zuma’s request. Many locals have expressed their disappointment with the president’s actions, saying the interdict is suspicious” (CCTV Africa, 2016)
Johannesburg, 14 August 2016
The National Execitive Committee of the African National Congress met from the 11th to the 14th August 2016 at the St. George’s Hotel, Irene, Tshwane. The National Executive Committee completed a vigorous, honest, open and thorough assessment of the local government election outcomes.
In particular the NEC analysed the ANC overall performance and appreciated the winning of wards in many municipalities. We were nevertheless disappointed at the loss of a number of key municipalities and failing to retain our majority in the metropolitan municipalities of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Ekurhuleni and other municipalities.
The NEC reaffirmed the commitment of the ANC as the liberation movement and governing party since 1994, to continue the agenda of transforming South Africa from an oppressive and exploitative society to a democratic South Africa that is free, united, non- racial, non-sexist and prosperous. It was noted that our poor performance in the 2016 local government elections is a serious setback to the cause of social transformation.
The NEC unanimously agreed to take collective responsibility for the poor performance of the ANC during the elections and resolved to take immediate and bold actions to address the weaknesses and shortcomings that led to the decline of our electoral support.
We are convinced that the African National Congress remains the hope of the vast majority of South Africans, black and white, and particularly those who are still trapped in poverty and other social ills inherited from apartheid colonialism.
The NEC viewed the outcome of the elections as a clarion call of the people to the liberation movement to urgently take steps to speed up the programmes of change, and rectify the many subjective weaknesses affecting its capacity to play its historic role.
This requires serious, objective and robust introspection within the movement itself, starting with the leadership at all levels.
The NEC believes that arresting the electoral decline would require the ANC to immediately and courageously embark on bold strategies to re-energise our structures and supporters. This will require us to deal with perceptions of the ANC being arrogant, self serving, soft on corruption and increasily distant from its social base.
As a result the National Executive Committee resolved to take measures to address the challenges experienced during the campaign some of which are reposnsible for our poor performance. The people have spoken and we acknowledge and accept the message.
In this regard the following are measures the ANC will be implemented with immediate effect;
1) The NEC will visit all provinces to meet with ANC and Alliance structures; different sectors and communities to deal with the concerns being raised by the people;
2) The NEC will investigate and act on all instances where there was violation and even manipulation of the Candidate Selection Process (including where the choice of communities was undermined). We will take action against all who were involved regardless of positions they hold in the organisation.
3) The NEC resolved to task the National Officials and the National Working Committee to take urgent measures to rid the movement of factionalism across the board – including in the NEC.
4) The NEC mandates the National officials to lead the process of establishing cooperation with other parties that share and pursue a progressive transformation agenda to better the lives of our people.
5) The organisation will immediately embark on training of our councillors to ensure that they lead our municipalities in the interests of the people, provide services to the people and maintain high levels of revolutionary discipline and integrity;
6) The NEC resolved to put in place mechanisms that would monitor service delivery across all spheres and ensure accountability of all deployees for actions or inactions in the execution of assigned responsibilities.
7) Although these were local government elections, some national issues dominated public discourse. NEC resolved to mandate government to take urgent steps to bring stability and policy certainty in State Owned Companies such as SAA, SABC and ESKOM. Relevant government deployees are expected to report on these matters at the next NEC meeting.
8) While noting the efforts to rid our society, government and the private sector of corruption and its associated consequences, the NEC calls for an approach that will effectively deal with this cancer, without fear or favour;
9) Government will accelerate the implementation of the NDP and other agreed programmes to stimulate economic growth to create jobs, particularly for young people. This must include implementation of youth empowerment programmes outlined in various government departments;
10) The NEC calls for an accelerated interaction between government, the private sector, organised labour and other sectors of society to develop a partnership programme for youth empowerment and increasing productive investment in key sectors of the economy.
11) Government has been mandated to speedily conclude the NEDLAC process on the National Minimum Wage.
12) The NEC resolved that the principle of no-fee increase in universities should remain in place to give chance to a consultative engagement with all stakeholders in order to arrive at an economically viable and affordable cost of higher education;
13) The NEC resolved to increase organisational capacity in its structures, particularly Organising, Political Education, Communications, Elections, Research as well as Monitoring and Evaluation. Part of these measures must ensure that the ANC fast tracks the implementation of resolutions and decisions taken at different platforms of the ANC.
14) The NEC resolved that to effectively deal with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, government in the coming Cabinet Lekgotla must reprioritise the budget to give effect to the imperatives of the NDP and the 9 Point Plan in particular as an instrument of implementation.
The NEC regards its four-day meeting as the start, rather than the end, of a continuing process of introspection with the aim of re-engineering the ANC. A number of issues were raised and deliberated upon, some organisational and others policy oriented, all of these will be consolidated and processed within the structures of the organisation
Our society is in a continuous process of change and continuity, and our movement is part of that. We call on all sectors of society (including urban and rural workers, youth, women, professionals, intellectuals, religious community and business community) to continue participating in the national project to build a united, non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society.
As we rise from the NEC and having reflected deeply on the outcome of local government elections. We are emboldened by and thank the millions of South Africans who continue to have confidence in the ANC. This we do not take for granted.
The ANC also expresses its deep appreciation to all our volunteers, supporters and our Alliance Partners who worked diligently and tirelessly during the election campaign. A special word of appreciation to the Independent Electoral Commission for once again delivering free, fair and credible elections.
While the Elections were relatively peaceful, the ANC condemns in the harshest possible terms incidences of violence leading to the elections, which led to a number of killings. The NEC sends its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and calls on the law enforcement agencies to act speedily to bring the perpetrators to book.
The NEC has listened to the voice of the people as reflected in the election results – and, with humility we have heard them and accept their judgment.
We remain confident that this 104 year old organisation, working with the people, has the political will and capacity to overcome its challenges and re-energise our people for the tasks that lie ahead.
We reaffirm our deep commitment as the ANC to leave no stone unturned to make sure that as we advance towards next national and provincial elections and beyond, we will continue to work together with our people to address all the socio-economic challenges that still bedevil our land.
African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910