ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe File picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency (ANA)
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe File picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency (ANA)

Plotters of violent protests ’wanted to derail Ramaphosa’s fight against corruption’

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Aug 2, 2021

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The ANC and SACP are united in their belief that the plotters of the July violent protests were the work of renegade ANC members who allegedly want to stop President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fight against corruption and public looting.

Senior party leaders ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande expressed their views when they addressed the SACP’s centenary celebrations rally in Joburg yesterday to mark the founding of the party in Cape Town 100 years ago.

Both said the plotters of the alleged coup were within the ANC and had a “nefarious agenda”, with Nzimande describing them as “ANC renegades”.

In his address, Mantashe said the events in July were the worst destruction to happen in South Africa since apartheid, and that the creators of the unrest had targeted two provinces that controlled 50% of South Africa’s economy.

“The key lesson was that we need to diversify the economic centres of the country. The crisis has instructed us to open the economy to a number of provinces in the country. This was the work of people with nefarious agendas,” Mantashe said.

“If the release of Zuma became the immediate demand, the medium-term objectives were (and remain) the displacement of the Ramaphosa-led ANC, and therefore of a Ramaphosa state presidency, reversing progress being made within the ANC to clean up, and to halt the slowly gathering momentum of the criminal justice system in dealing with state capture crime and corruption.

“Although this conspiracy has lost serious ground in the course of July (but at a huge cost to our country, and particularly to the working class and poor), we must remain extremely vigilant and united in the defence of democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law.

“But we must go beyond vigilance. We must ask how any of this was possible in the first place. How, 27 years after the democratic breakthrough, could this have happened?“ Nzimande asked.

Labelling them as “plotters“, Nzimande said some of them had used social media to execute their failed plans, and that “caught out by the backlash against the mass looting, some in the conspiracy camp sought to back-track.

“One disgraced character, ostensibly acting on behalf of MK veterans, who had previously boasted they would never allow Zuma to go to jail, now vaingloriously delivered a 14-day ultimatum to President Ramaphosa to release Zuma or face some unspecified consequence. It was an indirect admission that this network of degenerates was behind the chaos in the first place.

’’They were hoping to present a freed Zuma as the only person capable of restoring peace. But with the mass looting in KZN halted by the combined efforts of the security forces and community self-defence, this card, too, was not viable,” Nzimande said.

Nzimande was unrelenting in his view that the attacks and destruction of property were well planned, and executed solely to undermine Ramaphosa’s government and to disrupt his fight against corruption.

“The insurrectionary (sic) violence and turmoil of early July was both planned and promised, sometimes brazenly, by those behind it. It was at once well funded and relatively professional, but hopelessly inept strategically.

“The plotters deliberately triggered and then lost control over a wave of mass looting, mostly by the most marginalised strata in our society. But shopping malls were not the prime target of the conspiracy itself.

“The real target was to cripple major transport arteries, and particularly the key south and southern African N3 corridor, to block Durban harbour, to strangle Gauteng, and to take out electricity, oil pipelines, communications infrastructure and the burning of food depots,” Nzimande said.

He said there had been mixed messages and debates about the nature of the July events.

“Were they a planned insurrection? Or the work of Mafia-style criminal gangs? Or an opportunistic, mass looting spree – as if what happened did not involve all of these dimensions?”

Political Bureau

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