Cape Town – Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane punted a "must read book" by a South African anti-Reserve Bank activist on social media while she was investigating the Bankorp bailout.
A few months before officially releasing the report, Mkhwebane punted Stephen Goodson’s 2014 book A history of central banking and the enslavement of mankind on Twitter and Facebook, saying in one post that it was “a must read book”.
The posts were both made on 25 April 2017, two days after she interviewed Goodson as part of the investigation. This is confirmed in the full report (link below), which states that she interviewed the author on 23 April 2017.
Mkhwebane has recommended that Parliament change the Constitution to remove the mandate by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to protect the value of the rand. Absa, Barclays Africa and the SARB are taking the matter to court, while the African National Congress leadership said Mkhwebane overstepped her powers.
On Wednesday, Business Day reported that Mkhwebane has "advocated a role for the central bank that is closely aligned to the views of Chris Malikane, the controversial adviser to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba who advocates the creation of a state bank with the unrestrained ability to create money".
Gigaba has distanced himself from the recommendations. He told Bloomberg on Tuesday that "to change the Constitution would not be unlawful, but the manner in which the recommendation is being made would be unlawful".
Public Protector spokesperson Cleopatra Mosene told Fin24 on Wednesday that “while it might be misconstrued that the book influenced her thinking, this is not the case”.
“The Public Protector is an independent thinker,” she said. “She has the right to freedom of expression.”
Instead, she said Mkhwebane focused on discharging her Constitutional duty regarding the allegations of misappropriations of funds. “The issues relate to the law,” she said. “This thing has nothing to do with her findings. It wouldn’t have influenced her findings in the report.”
Apart from stating that Goodson was interviewed, the Public Protector does not mention him again in her report. Fin24 has asked Mosene for what insights he provided and is waiting for a response.
Who is Stephen Goodson?
Goodson, a former director and activist shareholder at the SARB, served in his role for nine years until 2012, when his denial of the Holocaust and views on Nazi economics apparently saw him resign.
He then co-founded the Ubuntu Liberation Movement, which punted closing down the SARB and creating a People’s Bank. The SABC reported in 2014 that “Ubuntu has been joined by Stephen Goodson, a former director and shareholder of the SARB, with insider knowledge of how the banking institutions have exploited the people and continue to control our government at every level”.
He was apparently investigated by the Hawks in 2015 for breaching the Reserve Bank Act in 2015, after the publication of another book, "Inside the South African Reserve Bank - Its origins and secrets exposed", SA Breaking News reported.
He says on his Facebook page that he is currently the leader of South Africa's Abolition of Income Tax and Usury Party.
The Mail & Guardian reported that Goodson’s appointment to the SARB board was a “mini coup” at the time and that legislation was passed in 2010 to ensure activist shareholders could no longer do this.
An alleged Holocaust denier
Goodson is allegedly also a Holocaust denier, apparently saying that the genocide of millions of Jewish people in Europe during World War II was “a huge lie”.
Goodson “holds contentious views that include admiring the economic policies pursued by Hitler in Nazi Germany, a belief that international bankers financed and manipulated the war against Hitler because they saw his model of state capitalism as a threat to their usurious ways, and that the Holocaust was a fiction invented to extract vast amounts of compensation from the defeated Germans,” the Mail & Guardian reported in 2012.
David Jacobson, the executive director of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, called on Goodson to be fired at the time. “It is regrettable that someone responsible not just for holding but for actively publicising views of so deeply offensive a nature held office within one of South Africa’s most important public institutions,” he told IOL in 2012.
The M&G story is seen to have instigated his removal from SARB. Fredrick Töben, who gave a positive review of the book on his personal blog, said Goodson explains how he was “removed from the South African Reserve Bank as a board member and how an allegation of so-called Holocaust denial was used to achieve that end”.
What Goodson's book says
Töben says Goodson “highlights the fact that since 1994 to the present the insidious nature of the private banking industry which remained hidden until then within the racist white South African political mold could not be hidden any longer under the veil of freedom and democracy.
“This is because even the prevailing rush to consumerism has failed to bring about the promised economic salvation that was to solve pressing social issues such as high rates of unemployment and declining services.”
Töben quotes Goodson as ending the book with this prediction:
“The excessive concentration of power and wealth, based exclusively on fraudulent banking methods, has enabled a tiny minority of criminal bankers to control the media and educational processes, and thereby to brainwash a mindless and atomised humanity, deluded by the spurious comforts of democracy and materialism, into the suicidal practices of savage, bloody and pointless wars, central banking and cultural degradation, which will eventually result in its demographic extinction.”
UPDATE: Goodson responded to the story on Wednesday, offering 12 theories about global reserve bank history and allegations against former SARB governors.
"It is apparent that your journalist is not aware of these facts and questions and that he has failed in his obligation to research this article properly by reading A History of Central Banking and Inside the South African Reserve Bank Its Origins and Secrets Exposed," he said in an email.
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