Military veterans head slams foreign investors, pledges support for Zuma

Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: Nasief Manie
Kebby Maphatsoe. Picture: Nasief Manie

Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe has blamed South Africa’s inability to recover from the current economic crisis on rich Western investors who have become selective over where they place their money.

Speaking in his capacity as national chairperson of the ANC’s former military wing, the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association, Maphatsoe told delegates at a general council in Johannesburg yesterday that Western investors were deliberately not investing in developing countries because they were chasing profits.

“The result is that they do not think twice about disinvesting from developing countries [like ours] if our macroeconomic policies do not serve their purpose,” said Maphatsoe.

He said these investors would then, “from a distance and through their local proxies, continuously force their way to determine our economic policies and how we govern our society”.

“They assert and arrogate their power on how we should do certain things [to] ensure that their interests are secure,” he said.

Maphatsoe said attempts at resisting the influence and instructions of Western investors “often invite severe and brutal punishment, ranging from economic blackmail to political destabilisation and attempts that often succeed at regime change”.

“We have observed [this] with the recent isolated counter-revolutionary activities that are taking place in our country. It is part of the foreign intelligence community’s plan to have a regime change in South Africa,” he said.

He warned that the country risked “a tragic reversal of our revolutionary gains” if the ANC was not vigilant and did not have strong leadership.

“Our revolutionary transition is endangered. It begs of us to have the presence of mind to assess our leadership as cadres of the ANC and remain committed to our purpose,” said Maphatsoe.

He said attacks on President Jacob Zuma were also an attack on all that the ANC stood for, as well as on the policy choices of the majority, adding that attempts to block Zuma from ascending to the party’s presidency started as far back as 1991.

Maphatsoe said some in the media were working with foreign intelligence agencies to discredit Zuma to ensure the public lost confidence in the ANC.

“As long as we are still alive, we will defend Zuma,” he said, adding that the media and “foreign spies” were “putting pressure on some faceless cowards in the ANC national executive committee”.

“We are waiting for them,” he said, referring to the ANC committee meeting that is scheduled to take place later this week.

“They are cowards, so we must expose them and say to them: ‘Come to the national executive committee and say you do not want Zuma.’”.

He went on to say that the politically connected Gupta family should be left alone because they owned less than 1% of the JSE.

“Some in the alliance are saying the Guptas have captured the state; it is not true,” he said, referring to the SA Communist Party.

“We met them and asked serious questions [of them], and they responded. These are South Africans, they are not whites. They do not take profits out of the country; they invest,” he said.

Maphatsoe echoed Zuma’s statement earlier this month, saying that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen was “the most qualified finance minister” South Africa had had since 1994.

He said Van Rooyen, who is also the treasurer-general of the military veterans’ association, holds degrees in economics, while he heard that former finance minister Trevor Manuel only had a matric.

Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile told the delegates that government would speed up the process of assisting them with their basic needs, including housing. He also said a new office of military veterans would be created.
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