The South African Federation of Trade Unions has been at the forefront of the campaign against corruption, the plundering of state resources and the hijacking of public institutions and state-owned enterprises by a gang of thieves.
While the battle to put an end to this looting is far from won, it is important to welcome the following victories for the anti-corruption campaign, which have been scored thanks to a combination of civil society, political parties, the previous Public Protector, media and the judiciary, and in which SAFTU has played a leading role:
- Brian Molefe and Ben Ngubane are no longer at the helm of Eskom;
- KPMG, McKinsey and Bell Pottinger – the Guptas’ professional enablers – are in deep trouble;
- Our sleepy parliament has been forced to hold inquiries into ‘state capture’;
- PRASA may face persecution over lost billions;
- Ntlemeza, Jiba and Mrwebi are gone from the Hawks and NPA;
- Even politicians can no longer dispute the evidence of the capture of state entities;
- The removal of Zuma has been the central discussion in the ANC;
- The nuclear deal has been stopped;
- South Africa remains part of the International Criminal Court;
- In the SABC, Prof Mbulaheni Maguvhe, Hlaudi Mosoeneng and James Laguma are history;
- Consensus has been built on the scandal of the social grants distribution contract;
- The independence of the Hawks and IPID has been improved;
- The SARS ‘rogue unit’ narrative has been exposed as a scam;
- Makhosi Khosa and ANC veterans have been inspired and found their voice;
- The role of the Guptas and their cronies role has been fully exposed by the emails;
- Only two of the defenders of pillaging remain vocal; most others are too embarrassed to openly support the perpetrators;
- The Guptas have become increasingly isolated pariahs.
SAFTU is well aware however that even when those directly involved in the corruption by the Guptas, President Zuma and their cronies has been fully exposed, the fight will then continue to bring them all to court and jail those found guilty.
SAFTU is also under no illusions that these are the only people involved in corruption and state capture. The state was in reality captured decades ago, by the colonial robbers like Cecil Rhodes and the capitalist collaborators and funders of apartheid.
Their successors today, the big multinational monopolies, still overwhelmingly white and male, are the most dangerous capturers of the state. Many of them, and their allies in the media and universities, have been vocal in their condemnation of the ‘state capture’ by the Guptas, but only because they see them as new rivals to their own entrenched power and wealth.
They condemn the Guptas and Zuma for exposing too blatantly the way in which capitalism exploits and robs the people. They prefer to operate discretely, within the legal and constitutional framework which they set up to legitimize the way in which they exploit their workers, the consumers and society as a whole.
SAFTU therefore insists that workers should have no illusions in these false friends but oppose corruption from a class standpoint, and continue to fight for the South Africa envisioned in the Freedom Charter, in which “the national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people”, “the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole” and “all other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people”.