The Guptas and State Capture:
It is highly probable that the Guptas have stolen from government, as it is equally probable to say the Guptas have captured the state. State Capture in essence, is about those who control the means of production through their proximity to the state and how this control permeates and influences our social strata.
To say the Guptas control both our productive forces and value systems is the biggest lie to have been sold to South Africans. Capitalism, by its nature, thrives on corruption. In the complex web of capitalism, the Guptas would be considered petty thieves for they control nothing of value in the context of production or wealth creation.
Quantitatively speaking, who has control over the state? Who makes the law in South Africa today? Who creates knowledge in South Africa? Who owns the banks? Who owns the wealth and minerals of this country? The Guptas? If the Guptas would be deported tomorrow, would black people get their land back?
Who controls more than R400 billions of procurements in government, to which 90% goes to white-owned companies? Are the Guptas part of the Big 5 construction companies which control more than the R4 trillion from the Presidential infrastructure plan? The same construction companies which collude and steal billions from government and tax payers?
Are the Guptas part of the Big 5 banks and asset management companies that control billions of the government fiscus and which have been found to have manipulated the currency, “fixed accounting books” or stole from government pension funds?
Who controls the supply of coal at Eskom and has 20 to 40 year contracts?
If only 2% of procurement at South African Airways (SAA) is controlled by blacks, who controls the 98% at the parastatal? Is it the Guptas?
Who controls mega projects at Prasa and Transnet including billions of infrastructure projects for our rail and ports?
Who controls the billion rand health industry which includes pharmaceutical companies which supply medicine and equipments for your government? The Guptas? Who controls ICT infrastructure used by government? The Guptas?
Government is the biggest consumer of legal services and it is the Big 5 white law firms that are given briefing patterns. It is white lawyers primarily who write legal opinions for the African National Congress (ANC) led government. It is white lawyers who developed regressive legislations such as PPPFMA, CIDB, Chapter 9 Institutions including the Competition Commission which is meant to protect white corruption, which it calls collusion.
There is no private sector without government and there is no government without tax collection. The so-called private sector has always depended on government procurement and capital injection. If you look at all the 25 listed companies at the JSE per market capitalisation, all of them are co-owned by the PIC. It is your pension funds that sustain white privilege, if not State Capture by white conglomerates.
How do you capture the state if you control nothing? In a capitalist society, business always seeks to influence politicians and many who do tenders with government will know because they are forever having meetings with politicians in an effort to influence them.
The mere fact that you can influence ministers, does not translate to you having captured the state, because ANC ministers have not even comprehended how the state interacts with society. Many have not even explored the role of the state in its entirety.
The history of the State in South Africa:
The state, in its basic terms was created by the oligarchy to exert influence through politicians and to manage the poor and working class. The state is therefore a contested terrain by the ruling class which has always been captured; initially by British imperialism who were then forced to co-opt some Afrikaners like the late Anton Rupert.
To this day, what you call the Republic of South Africa continues to be a colonial republic under the custodianship of the British Empire, hence our gold reserves are under the custodianship of Queen Elizabeth.
However, the likes of Hertzog, De La Rey, Christian De Wet, Hendrik Potgieter etc. refused to be co-opted by British capital, which led to the Anglo-Boer war and formation of the Broederbond in 1918 to fight British imposition.
So powerful was Britain and its grip on the state through its business proxies that Hendrik Verwoerd in parliament lamented that the “Oppenheimers” were so powerful they could easily destroy any government. Hendrik Potgieter attempted to dismantle state capture by the British but was defeated when he was assassinated in 1966 and with him, died the idea to nationalise the wealth of the country from British control.
Let me remind you that the first ever mining company to be owned by Afrikaners was only consolidated in 1963, 100 years after the rediscovery of diamonds in 1863. This means it took those who have been in South Africa since 1652, at least 100 years to own a mine, mind you not even to control it because Gencor which is affectionally known as BHP Billiton, received vendor funding from Britain.
We must equally understand the difference between ownership and control, which white companies have perfected through cross-directorship and cross-shareholding where they still control more than 50% of the economy. They might not directly own some companies but they control many of the companies which they have given vendor funding to and control the boards through directorship and shareholdership.
They run a sophisticated web which they control through legislation, the executive and judiciary.
Did I also mention that more than 60% of senior prosecutors at the NPA are white and most also worked for the apartheid government. Take Gerrie Nel for example. As celebrated as he is, he has never prosecuted any white collar criminal, instead he worked with the likes of the corrupt KPMG to bring Black blue collar criminals to book. To show his contempt for blacks he went to join AfriForum to further protect and entrench white supremacy.
Any lessons learned?
The Broederbond fought to defeat state capture by Britain but they were eventually defeated and coopted. From 1918 the brotherhood built their own Universities, refusing to take their children to English schools where the minds of their children would be shaped by Anglo scholarship. Instead of taking their children to Rhodes University, Universty of Cape Town or Wits University, they opted to build Free State University, Stellenbosh University, University of Pretoria and Rand Afrikaans University, so as to take charge of their future.
Afrikaners understood the power of defining. They didn’t fight for inclusion like we do, but opted to start their own institutions in their own language.
They started their own banks and insurance companies such as Volkskas (ABSA), Saambou, Sanlam, Avbob, Nedbank (Nederland Bank) etc.
Naspers was the brainchild of Hertzog. Afrikaners started their own media houses because they understood the power of the media and its ability to shape narrative and set the agenda.
The bedrock of Afrikaner self-determination was their church, the Dutch Reformed Church, which on a weekly basis, taught whites they were ‘Gods’ chosen race.
Even though Afrikaners were eventually swallowed by English capital, they fought till the bitter end. Even though Afrikaner capitalists like Rupert (others contest that this family is truly Afrikaner), Mouton, Jooste, Weise etc. have become economic partners to the English, they still exercise some control of their destiny. Remember Afrikaners were also subjected to concentration camps and left to death after their war with Britain, both fighting for our resources.
Where is Black South Africa today? Nowhere!
We are confused, divided and fighting amongst ourselves. ANC leaders are fighting each other to be co-opted by white capital just to get bread crumbs and BEE status. Since 1991, radical economic transformation is the first policy of the ANC which truely speaks to self-determination. Now the question is, does the ANC have bold leaders prepared to die to implement this radical agenda? Hence, we must protect radical economic transformation with our lives because in it lies the wealth of our children and future children.
RET is no longer about the ANC:
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) was conceptualised by Brenthurst Foundation, commissioned by the Oppenheimers, hence there is a crisis in black business and the tender system has failed. Thabo Mbeki conceptualised what he deemed to be a ‘Patriotic Bourgeois’ which was an elitist project which really created the new black colonial elite and led to social distance between the ANC and its constituency. Today, ANC leaders are coopted by white businesses, to the extent that some are even prepared to say White Monopoly Capital does not exist. Such denialism!
Do you understand how breadcrumbs numb your ability to analyse your concrete objective reality? Afrikaners refused breadcrumbs and were even prepared to kill black people, yet today you have leaders who are prepared to distort the truth and tell us there is no White Monopoly Capital or that the Guptas have captured the state. Such a Travesty!
In the history of our economic struggle post-1994, the Guptas were the first race, outside of the power struggle between English/Afrikaner capital, who succeeded in a hostile take over through Tegeta, to buy out a white controlled company.
For any student of history who has researched how capital has exchanged hands since the discovery of diamonds in 1863, this was a monumental moment, if not the beginning of a proverbial economic war. The 5% that Tegeta snitched from Glencore/Shanduka owned Optimum was the beginning of our war towards economic freedom.
How? Well, for the first time in the history of Eskom, a race group outside of the white race had control of shares at Eskom. White business was shaken that another race had actually beaten them in their own game. Anglo American, Exxaro, Glencore, BHP Billiton, Khumba Iron Ore were all shocked that more than 70% of their monopoly at the State Owned Entity was now contested.
No Black person had ever done what the Guptas had done, i.e. contest the domination of white capital. None whatsoever.
It is another lie to assume white capital is sustained by good governance or accountability. Steinhoff, KPMG, Investec, Murray and Roberts, ABSA etc. continue to prove that the private sector is a play ground of sophisticated thieves in suits who collude and steal tax payer’s money, but because they write legislations which protects them and own the media which protects their thievery, you would only associate corruption and capture with others.
A look at our Black rand billionaires:
Patrice Motsepe, though a brilliant business man, owns an English company now called, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), which in fact is AngloVaal, which was unbundled between 1998 and 2002. ARM is the brainchild of Clive Menell, one of the English mining randlords who was Harry Oppenheimer’s confidante. This is! why white capital will never antagonise Motsepe. So powerful were the Menell’s and trusted by some ANC leaders that when Nelson Mandela publicly separated from Winnie Mandela he went to stay with them.
Shanduka is an extension of Anglo American, with shares given to Shanduka and Pembani in almost all Oppenheimer controlled companies since 1993.
The situation is the same with the likes of Tokyo Sexwale and many emerging Black billionaires who have equally not done anything much to contest white economic domination. Britain does not want another Boer War and Afrikaners know they have no where else to go, therefore an empowered black society is a threat to white privilege.
What is the way forward?
Do we continue to allow ourselves to be misled that the Gupta’s have captured our state? Do we wait for another foreign family to come and fight with whites for our resources or do we learn from both the Broederbond and the Guptas on how to contest for real economic power which will empower all our people?
The Guptas, just like the Dutch and English, were mere tourists in South Africa but decided to stay permanently. They saw opportunities that black South Africans did not see. Since 1993, they began coercing ANC leaders in an effort to influence them, but they went beyond what black aspirant capitalists aspired for. They fought to control patterns of ownership.
As Dr Kgoshi Maepa would say, what you have today are “black capitalists without capital” and the question I ask today, in particular directed to the black intelligentsia is, what will it take for you to start your own institutions?
Black society is in a crisis because the ANC is in a crisis, whilst Pan Africanist organisations are at war with themselves. Surely black people must come out of their closets and arm chair criticism to save this sinking ship. The ANC as I would infer is just like the Titanic and headed towards an iceberg, we need to steer it away from this iceberg.
The black intelligentsia must construct a new narrative to save the ANC from itself unless they are also prepared to see political power right back in the hands of the minority.