March 28, 2016 (GIN)—South Africans are rising up against the outsized influence of corporate entities and wealthy individuals allegedly doling out contracts and jobs within the ANC.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, at a recent event, rebutted the charge, declaring the ANC was not for sale, and anyone who wanted to capture the state should “go next door.”
Speaking to approximately 1,500 professionals and academics at the ANC event in Sandton last week, Ramaphosa declared, “Those who want to capture the ANC and influence it to advance personal or corporate interests, you have come to the wrong address. Try next door. We will not be captured.”
A South Asian family close to President Jacob Zuma, who allegedly peddled jobs within the government, was not the only ones exploiting their connections. Ramaphosa added, “There are a number of others as well, and we are saying to all and sundry, stop in your tracks, we will not allow that.”
But questions continue to be raised, including at a seminar last week hosted by the Association of Public Administration and Management. Political influence by corporate entities and wealthy individuals is “at pornographic levels,” said businessman and policy analyst F.M. Lucky Mathebula. “That is why we hear calls of the removal of the president and regime change,” he stated.
Political analyst and professor at the University of Pretoria, Tinyiko Maluleke, said state capture was “insidious,” and became entrenched over time. “The idea that two or three people capture the state in one day is useless,” said Maluleke.
Former African National Congress Youth League Deputy President Ronald Lamola said the problem was not just corruption.
“This is about democracy where unelected people are able to influence the decision to appoint ministers,” he said. “This is kleptocracy, where a few elites are able to control and direct the state, a serious subversion of democracy.”
Last week, the group Equal Education released a statement calling state capture by the rich and powerful “a mortal threat to democracy” and pledged to join a “week of outrage” with other movement groups. “When our democratic state is put into the top pocket of a few rich people,” the statement read, “the working class and the unemployed, the poor and the historically looted—the black majority—are attacked and further looted.”
Meanwhile, Zuma’s daughter, Thuthukile Zuma, a recent graduate in anthropology, has been awarded a high-profile tender as a supplier to a prominent local company involved in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Just before this appointment, she was the chief of staff in the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.
At 27, she is the youngest of Zuma’s four daughters with his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.