The entire Negotiated ‘Settlement’ rests on a Corrupt Foundation

Cyril Ramaphosa, Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma during CODESA.

The post 1994 ANC led ‘new’ South Africa was premised on a corrupt foundation from the very beginning. It is this corrupt foundation which is the cause of mutually reinforcing widespread corruption across public and private sectors. The political elite, drawn from corrupt elements in the liberation movement was essentially bribed in many ways to campaign the masses, in typical neocolonial trappings, away from the national liberation struggle and its objectives, by creating a false sense that freedom has been accomplished.

Tenderpreneurship is not a post Polokwane phenomenon. It has been there and is a notable feature of ruling party and government atrocity since 1994. The special pensions, parliamentary seats, ministerial positions, business deals given to this ruling elite were all part of the dangled carrot. Crass materialism, consumerism, laziness, corruption and greed of the few who feed on the sweat and blood of the majority are the essential features of a neo-colonial capitalist society we leave in.

The obvious questions anyone should ask is, for example, how Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and others became millionaires overnight because the night before their ‘riches’ they were penniless and obviously did not meet the lending criterion which is applied by Banks do deserve state sanctioned hefty multi-million BEE startups. We also know that they make millions through mere membership of various boards rather than their own sweat and labour. If we ask these questions, we will not get any credible justification whatsoever why these palookas were supported by government and the Banks when genuine entrepreneurs were left in the lurch. In the circumstances, the only plausible explanation is that the cause for these bankrolling was essentially corruption between the ruling elite and the ruling class. The ANC ‘Progressive’ Business Forum is itself a vehicle of sanctioned shameless corruption.

Senior public servants of the ruling elite are also known for using government facilities to conduct private businesses, awarding tenders to corporations they own or owned by their friends, relatives or spouses, resigning and forming companies that contracts with the departments they worked for. It is a known fact that certain leaders in the ruling elite benefited from the Arms deal and the Gautrain, amongst other major projects. Glaring criminal collusion in the allocation of these multi billion dollars projects have never been fully investigated. Ironically the culprits have been protected by both leaders of COSATU and the private capital who are now calling for lifestyle audits. The private capital in particular forgets that the wealth they boast about is a loot from the workers.

There are several incidences which points to the fact that the ruling elite tolerate corruption and therefore sanctions it. Let’s take construction of ‘RDP’ houses across the country. Most ‘RDP’ houses for the poor are falling or were left incomplete by BEE corporations while the tender boys and girls flash heavy Nokia Cellphones, wore long sharp-nosed shoes and drive BMW X5’s. How many of these culprits were brought to book? The answer is none!

A settlement in its simplest meaning must be a win-win resolution between contending forces and there should therefore be mutual beneficiation and equal amount of compromises from both sides. The so called negotiated settlement brokered by the ruling elite was nothing but a wholesale of the masses’ aspirations to the ruling class (international and settler colonial capital). It is therefore disingenuous to expect a good deal for the masses from a government or a leadership that sold them out.

Lack of political will on the part of the ruling elite, which COSATU and the SACP are part of, to make the correct ideological shift to ameliorate the material conditions of the democratic majority, is also an act in contempt of democracy and therefore a systemic illness that is more dire and urgent to combat than make believe high-flyer lifestyle reviews and adjustments. These lifestyles and display of unjustifiable opulence are not themselves a problem, but rather symptomatic manifestation of an uncaring, unjust, immoral, exploitative, egocentric, sadistic, toxic, self-destructive and corrupt society. The only solution for the poor African working class masses is to produce their own leadership to champion a socialist order.

Hulisani Mmbara
Chief Editor