The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) welcomes the arrest of Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh – the two former senior officials who presided over Transnet and then moved to Eskom.
They have been arrested in connection with the contracting and paying of the same goods (locomotives) twice, and using a dubious financing route – Regiments Capital – that led directly to the Gupta empire. The price of those Chinese locomotives was massively inflated so that kickbacks could be paid to advisory companies which were linked to Gupta companies.
The corruption has contributed to the way Transnet and other State Owned Enterprises struggle today. In turn, Transnet’s near-default on foreign debt last week gives an excuse to neoliberal fanatics in the ANC government to push for the privatisation of rail freight and ports. Neoliberals are able to launch their ideological offensive against public and social ownership because of the corruption that has plagued government and crippled both state companies and public services.
The alleged treacherous and criminal role played by people like Molefe and Singh was part of the accumulation plans by the faction of the kleptocratic clique of the black comprador bourgeoisie that is shunned by traditional colonial capital (white monopoly capital). They had repurposed the state not for general development but for looting to enrich, build and strengthen their own power as a faction of capital.
This kleptocratic comprador clique has appropriated populist language – slogans, phrases and rhetoric – to present themselves as people concerned with empowerment and redistribution, when in reality, they are concerned with themselves and their own interests.
Since the fall of former President Jacob Zuma, they have used this language to portray themselves as victims of White Monopoly Capital (WMC) who are witch-hunted by President Cyril Ramaphosa, whom they have branded a puppet of WMC.
In our view, both ANC factions are puppets of both WMC and the most parasitical fractions of international capital.
Their lamentations about the way the Ramaphosa-led faction and WMC serve to worsen our society’s divisions, which might well be true, are carefully narrated to seek the sympathy of the public and evade accountability and the law.
But people who looted our public resources do not deserve our sympathy because each avoidable leg amputation, death in our hospitals, child dropping out of a school, and failure to fight society’s mental health crisis due to insufficient social development services, amongst other degradations, leave the stench of corruption as the reason for service delivery crisis. The decline of public service is a problem of corruption as much as it is a decision by ANC to impose brutal austerity measures.
By “State Capture”, we are not deceived into a narrative by Ramaphosa and his pack of Hyenas against Zuma and his pack of Hyenas. Our historical materialist understanding of the state is that it emerges as an instrument of class rule. The fractions of capital and political factions wrestle for its control, and the working class must instead of siding with one side or the other, instead fight to seize power, to subdue these anti-social tendencies of a capitalist state. We see the task of the working class to reassert democratic control and management for the good of all people.
In this fight, we choose neither pack of Hyenas. Their interests are diametrically opposed to those of workers and the working class.
Therefore, we make no apology – and no one will blackmail us – when welcoming the arrests of Molefe and Singh, because this is simply not tantamount to buying into the deceptions of Ramaphosa, who himself still owes explanations for his own behaviour at the Eskom War Room, in his partnership with the ultra-corrupt firm Glencore, with Lonmin, and with so many other scandals. We are not, and never will be, uncritical of any capitalist ruling elite in this country, the world’s most unequal, where PwC regularly ranks our own bourgeoisie as among the top three in terms of the “economic crime and fraud” that they commit.
The full might of the law must take its course, and all thugs and thieves who stole from the public, throughout the years right up to today, must be arrested, prosecuted, jailed and made to pay reparations. The working class must reorganise itself to fight for the control of the state. None of the political factions nor the fractions of capital will champion our cause, except to try to deceive us, in order to get our support for their family affairs in their clubs of millionaires and billionaires.