Labour will miss Craven but good riddance to Mac

2015-04-15 15:04

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Cosatu spin doctor Patrick Craven will be remembered as one of the best propagandists who marshaled the federation in supporting Jacob Zuma’s march to power.

Little did he know that the group supporting the trade union federation’s president S’dumo Dlamini would render him a “silent” official.

Cosatu’s civil war has paralysed the organisation – like many black-dominated political parties.

On the other hand, the announcement on Mac Maharaj’s retirement is good riddance.

He and Craven were old spin doctors but with different agendas. At 76, Maharaj went back to government to protect President Jacob Zuma, a difficult task because of the many skeletons in his closet, such as his Nkandla private residence that was built by taxpayers.

Mac fought hard for Zuma so that he and his boss would never have their days in court.

The Mail and Guardian, City Press, Sowetan and Sunday Times published information about money deposited into Maharaj’s wife offshore accounts.

Zuma did not hide that his political mentor was Mac.

The media revealed how he and Lekele Kaunda became “Zuma bodyguards”. This led to the resignations of Trevor Fowler, Jessie Duarte, Vusi Mavimbela and Charles Nqakula, and the redeployment of Jimmy Manyi to the Guptas’ news channel.

At the Hefer commission of inquiry into allegations that Scorpions boss Bulelani Ngcuka was an apartheid-era spy, Maharaj, Vusi Mona, Ranjeni Munusamy, Moe Shaik and Gideon Nieuwoudt were exposed.

The R40 000 payment to Nieuwoudt by Shaik took place in the same house Mac was in.

The commission’s evidence leader Kessie Naidu SC and Ngcuka’s advocate, Marumo Moerane SC, exposed him and he was forced to admit that he “did not know that Ngcuka was a spy”.

Therefore, the labour movement has lost a voice in Craven but the nation says: “Good riddance to Mac.”

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