ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang says the incidents that happened in July resulting in violence and looting were entirely of the making of the ANC.
“For a long time there had been a group of people within the ANC who called themselves Radical Economic Transformation (RET) who linked that to Jacob Zuma who thought that once Zuma was put in jail they should protest by taking certain kinds of action. It is very clear, this thing has been simmering for a very long time within the ANC.These are people some of whom are in the highest organ of the ANC NEC, they self-declared that they belong to RET and they thought arresting Zuma has got nothing to do with the breaches of the law,” said Msimang.
Msimang said what happened in July was that as soon as the people behind this got to know that Zuma had been taken to Estcourt Prison, then they started on what they had planned, a series of incidents mainly blocking roads to impede communications, how they pulled the trucks together, burnt them and attacks on infrastructure.
He said it was quite clear the intention of the July events of destruction, looting and unrest were to embarrass the government or to get people to lose confidence in government because of the effect of what they did was to paralyse the economy and shock the nation.
Mavuso was in conversation with Ann Bernstein, [email protected] executive director via a webinar.
The conversation focused on corruption, cadre deployment and other important issues affecting South Africa and also to find solutions on how South Africa moves forward.
Msimang said people had been working overtime since February already (to count the latest incident) calling themselves the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) .
“This was an organisation that was set up to assist military veterans some of whom by the way are still soldiers, they are retired, quite a number of them are in bad shape. There was a need to have a welfare organisation to assist in making life liveable for them. In 2009 Parliament, recognising that there were people from all formations that were involved in the struggle, set up a department called the department of military veterans which was supposed to hand out some assistance.
“But for the past five years this group of people have been busy with a political agenda, they forgot everything they were set up to do and they are led by people who are extremely shady,” he said.
Msimang said when Zuma was arrested, these people made it very clear they would go to Nkandla and defend Zuma and make sure “nobody picked him up”.
“They were joined by Zuma’s son who is not always sober and other children. Everything that was happening was the ANC people and the ANC is completely hopeless to do anything about its people who were making provocative statements, threatening law enforcement agencies.
“When the rupture happened the spark clearly was lit by ANC people whom the ANC was unable to handle and this spilled out to the public and we got what we got.
“Had we been able to manage this internally we would not have had the mayhem that happened in KZN and parts of Gauteng. It was an ANC crisis spilling out into the public and claiming a lot of innocent victims in the process,” said Msimang.
He said he was not confident this would not happen again.
“I was discouraged when I heard 12 people were arrested and they didn’t seem to know their names and there was this public fight about what information is available to the president, the ANC or the public. I begin to wonder how much on top of the situation the government is seeing as there are people clearly known to have claimed that if Zuma was put in prison they would do something, something has been done,” he said.
When asked if he thinks the ANC has done enough to root out corruption in the organisation and the State in the past three years, Msimang said that was a difficult question.
“You know we are still living in the shadow of the nine wasted years as they call it. I call it nine devastating years where there was a hollowing out of SOEs, of criminal justice organisations, of departments, of municipalities, Parliament, these institutions were shaken very strongly, not an easy thing to reverse.
“I would venture to say the president has intervened fairly decisively in certain instances especially in the early years, we now have credible heads of the NPA, SARS, the SIU and they are being led by people who are credible. I would applaud him. Some efforts have been made and a lot could still be done,” said Msimang.