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)
Thank you once again for coming and honouring this invitation at such short notice. As millions of South Africans witnessed on Friday, a revolution isn’t a bed of roses. However we equally believe what happened Friday was a blessing in disguise as millions of South Africans saw exactly why we are on this cause. South Africans witnessed how the ANC has deteriorated, South Africans saw a micro reflection of how ordinary members of the ANC are silenced and dealt with in branches. Millions of South Africans saw why we have severely lost our moral high ground and why we are fast losing respect from society and no longer leading it. Millions of South Africans witnessed the implications of people being parachuted as leaders yet have no inclination of what it means to be a disciplined member of the ANC. South Africans saw why residents of Tshwane, particularly young people didn’t vote for the ANC. South Africans this is what we are fighting against. We are fighting against institutional abnormalities, intellectual paucity and moral deficiency in our ranks. We are fighting to salvage what is left of this revolutionary movement started by dignified, astute and disciplined Africans. Africans who understood that militancy and radicalism was never tantamount to hooliganism. We are fighting against patriarchy and chauvinism that has seen many women in the ANC and overall society being isolated, labelled and man handled because their views were not advancing agendas.
In the most trying times we have never witnessed Tata Nelson Mandela insult, slander or belittle even leaders of apartheid, we have never witnessed O.R. Tambo man handle or intimidate those with dissenting views. We wish to reiterate that no one has ownership or intellectual property over the ANC as ANC belongs to society. Hence even in joyous moments we continue to appreciate that its ordinary people that proudly wear ANC colours, but also in times of despair let them do so. We wish to extend our unequivocal apologies to the management and staff of the Classique Hotel in Tshwane, the National Press Club who hosted the press briefing, but more importantly to you South Africans that witnessed a self-proclaimed ANC member and leader rape the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa by undermining and disregarding freedom of speech and expression. We apologise to the veterans that had to witness what YL members have degenerated to. It was embarrassing, humiliating but more than anything it was necessary so that society understands why we can no longer introspect but we must take action.
It is rather unfortunate that we as young people of the ANC are now at logger heads not on fundamental issues such as the implications of South Africa being part of BRICS, whether motive forces as presented in the ANC strategy and tactics document have changed, what are the implications of potential shifts in American and European politics, the Syria crisis, inequalities in our society, that millions of Black South Africans are still subjected to poverty, but unfortunately our generation is embroiled unnecessarily in the turmoil of factional politics led by senior leaders. Our senior leaders are dismally failing our generation, more eager and interested in succession battles as we lose power. Friday we saw live evidence that if we don’t act now this is what the future of the ANC will be.
We wish to reassure millions of South Africans that as bleak as the situation might be, there are ANC members who are decisively ready to change this trajectory. We refuse to stand silently in our corners and watch this erosion unfold, we refuse to be intimidated and if need be will die to save the ANC. Yet we are witnessing cowardice strangling our organisation, many people hiding behind the notion of organisational processes. Millions of South Africans saw how abnormal we have become. We are in a state of paralysis where ANC processes have been hijacked and manipulated and robust engagement oppressed.
We appeal to revolutionary consciousness of NEC members to do the right thing. Are they really willing to go down in history as those that were hell-bent to protect individual interests over the organisation?
As reiterated in our statement on Friday we wish to tell South Africans that Occupy Luthuli House is necessitated by time and space, however time is clearly not our side. The ANC is losing power, its losing society. We therefore call upon members of society, members of the ANC and non-members to please come and join us tomorrow so that we correct these wrongs. Our generation will not sit and watch this. We will never realise our generational mission of economic freedom in our lifetime if we sit and protect patronage, anarchy and just watch the ANC die at the hands of parasitic conformists.
We reiterate our demands and why we are going to occupy Luthuli House
– That the ANC immediately recall President Jacob Gedleyehlekisa Zuma as President of the Republic of South Africa
– That NEC members follow suite and resign
– We call upon stalwarts of the ANC to take us to a consultative conference by December 2016
– The immediate implementation of conference Resolutions which will revive the ANC
– Disbanding the fees commission as it undermines conference resolutions of free and quality education by 2014
We are risking everything as we sit here, but we are inspired by the generation that formed the ANCYL risking everything to advance the armed struggle, we are inspired by those that have made contact and supported pour call. We call upon South Africans to please come tomorrow at 8 am as we converge first at the Bayers Naude square.
We acknowledge and respect the statement of the PEC of Gauteng, and what they have said is no different from all internal processes that have taken place. Unfortunately we also note the PEC’s silence on those who are claiming to defend Luthuli House and threatening violence. Self-proclaimed defenders have threatened violence when we just want to peacefully visit our own headquarters and visit our own leadership and request them to resign. The PEC has not condemned the violent and un-ANC behaviour of ANCYL Tshwane. We are aware that people are being mobilised to come and attack us. We maintain that this is a peaceful demonstration as a result of growing frustrations internally and externally. We continue to see growing frustrations expressed by many in public who seem to share the same sentiment.
We call upon all South Africans who support the ANC and those who voted and those in CBD to come and support us share our views to please come and join us. We remain resolute that we stand with the ANC; we are children of the ANC.
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