Jacques Pauw se boek, The president’s keepers (Praag 11 November), het opslae gemaak. Vandeesmaand het Adriaan Basson en Pieter du Toit se boek, Enemy of the people, ook verskyn (nadat Basson in 2012 Zuma exposed gepubliseer het), asook Ronnie Kasrils (gebore in 1938) se A simple man: Kasrils and the Zuma enigma (Auckland Park: Jacana, 2017, xxvi, 283p, R260). Al vier hierdie boeke handel breedweg oor dieselfde onderwerp: Jacob Zuma en staatskaping. Die drie wat in November gepubliseer is, het onafhanklik van mekaar tot stand gekom. Red Ron (p 164) Kasrils verwys na “Syndicate Zuma and the Guptas” (xiv). Sy boek is die enigste van die genoemde vier wat uit die binnekringe van die ANC gepubliseer is.
Spreekwoordelik is Kasrils die kommunis se kommunis. Wat hy skryf, moet krities benader word. Ek dink die boek sou moontlik nie geskryf gewees het as Zuma vir Kasrils in sy kabinet behou het nie. Hy het na sy aftrede in 2008 twee ander boeke gepubliseer. Soos hy dit stel: “retirement” was in sy geval “refirement” (xiii). Gee die duiwel wat hom toekom: Kasrils kán skryf; vloeiender, duideliker en meer sistematies/kronologies as die genoemde drie joernaliste. In 36 kort, maklik leesbare hoofstukke stel hy sy saak maar, soos te wagte, nie sonder om groot ingenomenheid met homself, “ever the polite one” (xxiii), te openbaar nie. “I had received numerous national and international medals and decorations” (199). Hy lys hulle (267).
Die boek begin met ‘n Nelson Mandela-aanhaling (v). Anders as in die meeste ander boeke is daar egter nie ongekwalifiseerde lof vir Mandela nie. In Januarie 1990, dus kort voor sy vrylating, het Mandela ooreenkomstig die Vryheidsmanifes van 1955 gesê: “The nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industries is the policy of the ANC, and a change or modification of our views in this regard is inconceivable” (238). Teen 1992 het oud-kommunis Mandela ‘n ander deuntjie begin sing (32). Kommuniste soos Joe Slovo en Chris Hani het ook hulle benadering tot ekonomiese sake aangepas. Slegs Pallo Jordan en Kasrils wou al die landbougrond en ander private eiendom aan die “regmatige” eienaars “terugbesorg” (230).
Alles moet aan die “mense”/massa behoort; dus staatseiendom word. “A return of the wealth of the land to the people as a whole” (226). Hy wil hê dat “the basic wealth and the basic resources are at the disposal of the people as a whole” (226). Kasrils kies bv soos volg kant teen kapitalisme en vir kommunisme: “The free market formula has had a disastrous effect around the world, ruining domestic economies and creating massive unemployment, poverty and misery. The other side of that coin has been enormous profits for global corporations, the all-engulfing financial system and the very wealthy” (232). Maar wie het ekonomies die beste gevaar, die kommunistiese Sowjetunie of die kapitalistiese Weste?
‘n Ander aanhaling aan die begin is van Neville Alexander (v), met nog een later (213), ‘n kommunis wat as veroordeelde misdadiger jare op Robbeneiland deurgebring het. Hy wou Engels- en nie Afrikaanssprekend nie wees. Daar is sekerlik baie mense wat eerbaar as Afrikaansrolmodelle kan funksioneer. Om bedenklike politieke redes hemel die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument in die Paarl Alexander as ‘n Afrikaansrolmodel op. By die jaarlikse Alexander-gedenklesing het Afrikaansdislojale sprekers soos Russel Botman en Nico Koopman al opgetree. Uit Afrikanergeledere behoort daar baie sterker teenstand teen sulke dwaasheid te wees.
Eintlik is Kasrils se boodskap die teenoorgestelde van wat in die boektitel staan. Zuma “was far from being a simple man of the people” (x). “The enigmatic Jacob Zuma is not the simple man of the people he enjoys portraying himself as … he has become driven by a lust for wealth and power” (241). “If we allow the far-from-simple man and his cabal to win, then beware the apocalypse” (243). Kasrils wil in die boek die volgende vraag beantwoord: “What were the factors that transformed Zuma the freedom fighter, and ostensibly a simple man of the people, into a corrupt and disreputable figure who surrounded himself with a load of creepy kleptocrats?” (xiv).
Kasrils vind die grondliggende fout nie by Zuma nie maar by die aard van die grondwetlike ooreenkoms wat die ANC met FW de Klerk en sy groepie Afrikaanssprekende blankes aangegaan het. “Our problems have not started with Zuma or Zupta, for he is a consequence of errors made during the transformational arrangements of the early 1990s” (xiv); “the compromises and trade-offs made at the time of the negotiated settlement” (177). Kasrils noem dit die “Faustian pact” (xiv, 176, 223, 238, 241, 243), dus ‘n ooreenkoms wat die ANC met die duiwel (die blankes) aangegaan het. “The salient economic concessions that were made in the Mandela era … bedevil his legacy” (223). “This meant allaying the fears of the powerful white minority and economic elite by not fundamentally changing land and property ownership” (225). “Our failure to hold a militant course for economic transformation at the time of mass activism in my view opened the gates to the disaster that has overtaken us” (240).
My standpunt is die teenoorgestelde: Dat die grondwetlike ooreenkoms van 1990/94 die swartes buitensporig oorgekompenseer het. ‘n Beskaafde, suksesvolle, vooruitstrewende land, wat danksy blanke inisiatief, kundigheid, toewyding en deursettingsvermoë ontwikkel is, het in die skoot van ‘n magshonger, gierige bende geval, waarin daar ‘n sterk teenwoordigheid van immoreles, misdadigers, kommuniste en onbekwames was en is.
“This book points out the nightmare that may await us all if the thieves and racketeers get their way” (xvi). Kasrils begeer ‘n kommunistiese Suid-Afrika, soos “the inspiring country,” Kuba (xviii). Soos dikwels gebeur, probeer hy sy kommunistiese pleidooi verdoesel deur sy voorkeur ‘n sosialistiese staat te noem (hoofstuk 32). Hy verwys bv na Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) en Fidel Castro (1926-2016): “What is vital is to keep alive the spirit of revolutionary hope” (xvi). Soos die gewoonte deesdae is, begin die (positiewe of outentieke) geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika vir Kasrils in 1990/94. Hy het bitter min oor die Zuma van vóór 1990 te sê. Die ontaarding het later plaasgevind. Kasrils regverdig die ANC-terreur (bv Operasie Vula) tydens die grondwetlike onderhandelings soos volg: “The realistic possibility that the De Klerk regime might negotiate in bad faith meant the ANC needed to retain its insurrectionary capacity” (16). Dit is net hoogs immorele, magshonger kamerade wat gelyktydig onderhandelings en terrorisme sal bedryf maar, toegegee, FW de Klerk het oogluikend toegelaat dat dit gebeur.
Kasrils beweer hy is in 2004 as minister van intelligensiedienste aangestel want Thabo Mbeki “had become concerned about the ineffectiveness and pro-Zuma politicisation of the security and intelligence sector” (6). In 2006 het Kasrils die Matthews-kommissie aangestel. In 2008 is daardie verslag ter tafel gelê. “Its main finding was that the institutional culture of intelligence agencies in South Africa was not sufficiently respectful of the rule of law or of lawful political opposition to the government. Instead, the intelligence services had been politicised and thus ‘drawn into the realm of party politics, requiring them to monitor and investigate legal political activity and, as a result, undermining political rights that were entrenched in the constitution’ … it found that the National Communications Centre (NCC) ‘appears to be engaged in signals monitoring that is unlawful and unconstitutional’ and that ‘some senior officials believe that it is legitimate to break the rules when dealing with serious security threats'” (179).
“Zuma would manipulate the security and intelligence system in his own interests” (31). Mbeki en Zuma het meegeding om die leierskap van die ANC. Daar is beweer dat staatsagenskappe tydens Mbeki se presidentskap saamgespan het om Zuma uit die pos van ANC-leier te hou. Daar was bv van die kant van die Nasionale Intelligensie-agentskap ‘n “email plot … to give credibility to [the] anti-Zuma plot” (124). “In the end, the NEC [National Executive Committee of the ANC] resolved that there was no conspiracy against Zuma originating from within the ANC, though he might have been subject to what it called ‘hostile action of forces opposed to the National Democratic Revolution'” (97).
“A serious problem was the politicisation of ANC officers in the public service” (9). Dit was te wagte weens die verderflike beleid om voorkeur aan die aanstelling van ANC-kamerade in topposte te gee. Let op waar hulle sit: “Long-time peers and comrades-in-arms during the liberation struggle, the police commissioner, the chief of the defence force, the head of the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, and the directors general of defence, justice and the intelligence services” (89-90). “There was a great deal of backbiting among former comrades, who tended to fall out … particularly because of rivalry over top positions” (56). Maar Kasrils erken: “I had not purged MK cadres working in the intelligence services when I was minister” (200).
“ANC operatives were relying on an outer show of competence that hid inner deficiencies and fear of failure … I found the country’s intelligence services in a poor state. The officers were of questionable ability and had politically compromised allegiances” (10). “Naïve and primitive reasoning persisted in the services. Anyone of Western association critical of the ANC leadership was damned as a ‘foreign agent’ serving a ‘counter-revolutionary’ agenda” (11).
Deel van Kasrils se ideologiese oriëntasie is dat Westerse veiligheidsagentskappe, soos die Amerikaanse CIA, “that rather infamous agency” (59), en die Britse M16, “guilty of brutal human rights abuses” is. Sommige van die ANC-kamerade in die intelligensiedienste is deur die Britte opgelei (59). Islam, daarenteen, is “one of the world’s most venerated and respected religions” (13). Aansluitend hierby kies die Jood Kasrils kant vir die Palestyne teen die Israeli’s (60). Eleanor, sy eerste vrou, blykbaar ‘n Jodin, is in 2009 oorlede. In 2012 het Kasrils met Amina Frense, ‘n Moslem, getrou.
Sommige ANC-kamerade beskou hulleself as bo die wet verhewe en verwag dat die president hulle teen regsprosesse moet beskerm. Tony Yengeni was “a courageous MK commander” (82) maar het wederregtelik afslag op ‘n motor ontvang. Hy het ‘n jaar tronkstraf uitgedien. “His antipathy to Mbeki stemmed from a resentment that the president had failed to prevent the criminal proceedings against him” (83). Ngoako Ramatlhodi was die premier van Limpopo. “At some point the Scorpions began to investigate him for possible corruption, which never was proved, but it appeared to me that he, like Yengeni, believed Mbeki should have interceded to quash any investigation from the outset” (83).
Toe Zuma in 2005 aangekla is van die verkragting van Khwezi (eintlik Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo), ‘n MIV-positiewe lesbiër (109), het Mbeki besluit: “Let the law take its course” (110). By daardie geleentheid het Kasrils aan Mbeki gesê: “Mr President, there is a monster walking the land and his name is Jacob Zuma” (110). Buite die hof het Zuma-ondersteuners “Bring me my machine gun” gesing. Kasrils veroordeel nie die anti-blanke sentiment in hierdie lied nie: “That stirring warrior song, which had inspired so many in the struggle against apartheid, was debased by Zuma for all time” (114). Zuma is vrygespreek, maar Kasrils skryf: “Zuma must be the most ridiculed head of state of modern times” (115). Iemand het aan Khwezi gesê: “You have become a powerful symbol to women around the country” (208). Toe sy in 2016 sterf, Kasrils “felt as though my own daughter had died … Fezekile … emerges as a martyred woman of our liberation struggle” (211).
Kasrils se venyn teen Zuma is byna grenseloos. “His degenerate behaviour and lack of moral integrity, which pointed to a grossly flawed character, would have penalised him from membership – never mind leadership – in any half-decent organisation. Despite obvious shortcomings, his adherents turned a blind eye to his shameless faults and touted him as a credible leader. At the expense of the ANC and the country, many in this broad grouping, with no ideological axes to grind, were prepared to ignore his follies, for they saw in him the man who could topple the despised Mbeki” (126). “Former liberation struggle personalities within the state … took entitlement to the extreme levels of ‘it’s our turn to eat’ or ‘payback time’ for the sacrifices they and their families had endured during the struggle. They perceived, or so it was perceived, that they were above the law and that Mbeki was duty-bound to protect them from unwelcome investigation by apartheid-era sleuths. Since he had not met such expectations, the already flawed Zuma was their star” (127-128). Kasrils beweer “a disease of corruption was already embedded within the apartheid state” (220). Hy verskaf geen bewyse vir hierdie aanklag nie. Sy beskuldiging ignoreer die groot graadverskil in korrupsie tussen die apartheidsera en die ANC-bewind.
Wat Kasrils in die vorige paragraaf kwytraak, kan op karaktermoord neerkom. Hy gaan ook van die twyfelagtige standpunt uit dat die ANC ‘n ordentlike instansie is. Mbeki was ook nie ‘n toonbeeld van onpartydige wetsgehoorsaamheid nie. Dit het bv geblyk toe die polisiekommissaris, Jackie Selebi, van korrupsie verdink is: “What some perceived as Mbeki’s action in protecting Selebi from prosecution was that in the ANC there was a culture … of ‘covering up for comrades’. Mbeki’s actions did not assist perceptions that while he protected Selebi, he was unwilling to lift a finger for others, Zuma chief among them” (129-130).
Mbeki se leierskap van die ANC is deur Zuma suksesvol uitgedaag tydens die ANC se Nasionale Konferensie in Polokwane in Desember 2007. “Little did I imagine that in our democratic South Africa those who had fought for freedom would have to watch their own backs as the inner-party struggle for position took hold with particular venom in the run-up to Polokwane” (131-132). ANC-lidmaatskap (133) en stemme (136) is gekoop. “There were suggestions that his [Zuma’s] most ardent supporters, top politicians in the country, were illegally bringing in the money from Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan ‘Brother Leader’, as well as from the Angolan president, Eduardo dos Santos, both of whom admired Zuma and were hostile to Mbeki” (183-184; ook 185). “Zuma received 2 329 votes to Mbeki’s 1 505” (135).
“Polokwane saw the beginning of possibly an irretrievable rot in the ANC” (135). “As Zuma’s presidency unrolled, the signs of the rot marking the decline of the ANC became ever more frequent” (189). Later: “The rot in the ANC was too far gone to save it from within” (192). “The emergence of a corrupt and vindictive strongman able to purchase loyalty on the basis of fleecing the state, crooked deals and a network of patronage, wrought irreparable damage and paved the way for the later so-called state capture by the Gupta family” (136). “The final resolutions [at Polokwane] look impressive but tend to be a ritual where wordsmiths create a quasi-revolutionary spin, on the one hand, and a bland, all-encompassing rhetoric, on the other, under the rubric of the NDR – the National Democratic Revolution. Whatever the fine words, the proof of achievement must be in the implementation, and that is where the ANC has had woeful results. Mocking the optimistic claims of the 2007 conference were dire organisational shortcomings, growing unemployment, lack of economic growth, rising poverty, a widening gulf between rich and poor, deteriorating health and educational facilities, a rise in corruption and crime, police brutality and a relentless slide into a security state” (137).
Op 12 September 2008 is Zuma deur regter Chris Nicholson vrygespreek van korrupsie-aanklagte (139). “Mbeki consequently immediately appealed against the decision with his cabinet’s backing” (139). Die ANC se Nasionale Uitvoerende Komitee het hierna vir Mbeki versoek om as president te bedank, wat hy op 20 September gedoen het. Kgalema Motlanthe is tussentyds in sy plek aangestel. “Within the week twelve ministers tendered their resignations. Trevor Manuel was one of us, but not for long. He was soon back in office, the only one among us, as the country’s minister of finance” (140). “The Nicholson judgment, which let to Mbeki’s recall, was subsequently thrown out by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in January 2009, thereby vindicating Mbeki” (142).
Hierna het die direkteur van die Nasionale Vervolgingsgesag, Mokotedi Mpshe, alle aanklagte teen Zuma teruggetrek op grond van spioenasiebande van afgeluisterde telefoongesprekke opgeneem van November 2007 tot April 2008. Mpshe en Willie Hofmeyr, die hoof van die Spesiale Ondersoek-eenheid in die Nasionale Vervolgingsgesag en “one-time comrade-in-arms” (174), het hierdie gesprekke vertolk as “clear evidence of conspiracy against Zuma on behalf of, and allegedly acting on the orders of, Mbeki” (154). Kasrils skryf oor hierdie “Spy Tapes”: “It resonates with conjecture about spying, smear campaigns and disinformation from the apartheid era through to our democratic dispensation” (170).
In Mei 2017 het Zuma steeds geglo “there exists a conspiracy by Western governments to oust him as president of the ANC and of the country” (154). “Zuma had long shown he was adroit at the blame game and at playing the victim” (112). Die Demokratiese Alliansie (DA) het weens Zuma se vertragingstaktiek eers in Maart 2015 toegang tot hierdie bande verkry (152). Kasrils skryf: “I never discuss business on the phone” (153). As oudminister van intelligensie behoort hy te weet hoe algemeen staatsmeeluistering voorkom. Ons lewe dan seker in ‘n polisiestaat? Des te meer as Kasrils skryf: “The militarisation of the police, reinstituting their ranking system among other things, by his [Zuma’s] administration after the civilian-type reforms of our new democracy was a reflection of the apartheid-style kragdadigheid (reliance on force) that typified that mentality” (189-190). “I had forecast that we were moving into a police state” (190).
Die (omstrede) grondwetkenner, Pierre de Vos, sê van die Nasionale Vervolgingsgesag: “The NPA is completely politically compromised, has been for a long time and that won’t change” (176). ‘n Ander skrywer “expressed disappointment at Hofmeyr’s being ‘susceptible to political pressure in performing his constitutionally mandated legal duties’ and being ‘so ambition driven’ in his quest for more senior positions” (176). Kasrils skryf: “It is the corruption of a whole movement that really troubles me … how ego and ambition overrode the foremost principle of all that we had grown up with – the principle of service to the people and not to one’s self” (176).
“Zuma’s penchant for directly controlling the police, and particularly security and intelligence, has proved disastrous for the services. The appointment of men like David Mahlobo [as minister of state security in 2009] was in keeping with his need to put in place pliable loyalists whom he could dominate and instruct … cabinet reshuffles, most notoriously in the mining, energy, communications and finance sector, and executive appointments in state-operated entities such as at Eskom, the SABC and South African Airways, ensured that almost all strategic posts came under his thumb. Rumours gained ground that Zuma directly ran internal intelligence units, particularly of the political and surveillance type, which reported directly to him” (182).
“I had often warned the SACP [South African Communist Party] to watch out for Zuma’s inclination regarding the gathering and control of information, and the drift towards a security state. Under Zuma, the intelligence services were transformed into a restructured security establishment, with Mahlobo designated minister of state security. Then followed the surprising appointment in September 2016 of Arthur Fraser as a new ‘super’ director general of the restructured State Security Agency incorporating NIA [National Intelligence Agency], SASS [South African Secret Service] etc” (182-183). Jacques Pauw het in sy veelbesproke boek heelwat oor Fraser te sê en Fraser het spoedig met regstappe gedreig. Hy is die broer van ‘n vorige ANC-minister, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, ‘n kommunis wat in die jare sewentig onrus op die kampus van die Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland gestook en toe uit die land gevlug het.
Kasrils skryf oor Arthur Fraser: “He had been under investigation within the department for the alleged improper utilisation of funds, but the case apparently disappeared. Then his surprising recall took place and his appointment at the highest possible level. Nevertheless, a cloud still hangs over him. A security company partly owned by Arthur Fraser stands accused of flouting tender processes and submitting a false tax certificate in order to score a R90 million contract from PRASA (the Passanger Rail Agency of South Africa), a National Treasury investigation has found. Resurgent Risk Managers, a company co-founded by Fraser and the former NIA chief Manala Manzini, may also have bribed their way into the contract, investigators concluded [in 2017]” (183).
“One wonders whether there is anyone in South Africa’s security and intelligence community immune to the lure of power and wealth. Not, it seems, when the cancer is allowed to spread unchecked by leaders who appear to reward those ready to sell their souls” (183). Barney Pityana sê: “The ANC has in fact been captured by a clique that has turned it into an instrument of self-enrichment, and for the control of the state – not for the common good, but for personal benefit” (195-196).
In 2016 het die Grondwethof bevind Zuma “failed to abide by his oath of office and uphold the Constitution” (203). Desnieteenstaande is hy steeds die staatshoof. Maar Kasrils se hoofbeswaar is en bly teen die mate waarin die ANC (nog) nie kommunisme genoegsaam uitleef nie. “The economic failures that arose as a result of the [1990/94] settlement, the collapse of revolutionary resolve, have allowed a pack of criminals and charlatans to hijack the ANC and masquerade as the proponents of radical economic transformation” (241). Die “state capture” en Zuma se “shadow state” kom neer op ‘n “silent coup” (242). “We are reminded of Marx’s observation about state capture: government is the executive committee of the bourgeoisie” (243).
Soos die Joodse marxis, Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), dink Kasrils blykbaar die keuse vir Suid-Afrika is sosialisme of barbaarsheid (243): “Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads: either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism” (269). Kasrils verlang ‘n “People’s Pact” (244), “Peoples Power” (247), “re-inventing true people’s power” (244), “a new united front” met die werkersklas as “the decisive driving force” (246). Van die gevolge sal glo wees: “Increasing the corporate tax rate … would create further funds for social and infrastructural investment, and for example provide for free university education for needy students and the long-delayed National Health Insurance” (245). “Once mobilised and inspired the masses who are the true creators of history have the creativity and strength to storm the heavens” (247).