End 200 Years of British ‘State Capture’ in South Africa!


____ Box 5069 MAFATSANA 1981 ramasimongt@hotmail.com www.larouchesouthafrica.com

Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane


End 200 Years of British ‘State Capture’ in South Africa!

by David Cherry and Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane

Aug. 4—The South African Parliament will vote on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma on August 8. If the motion should receive a simple majority of votes, Zuma and his cabinet must resign. It is not likely to happen, but one cannot say with certainty. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has a comfortable majority (249 of 400 seats), but it is now divided between supporters and opponents of Zuma. An unknown number of those opponents will defy party discipline and vote against Zuma if the voting is by secret ballot; some will vote against him regardless. The secret ballot question had not been resolved at the time of writing. Tension is high in anticipation, and security measures in and around Parliament are being planned. The ANC and the opposition have both announced rallies near Parliament, projected as possibly of 15,000 persons each, on the day of the vote.

This will be the sixth vote on a motion of no confidence against Zuma since March 2010. What’s going on?

  1. The Mighty Wurlitzer
The British-guided,1 multifarious opposition to the ruling Zuma faction and the ANC more generally—consisting of political parties, NGOs, academic institutes, commentators, and the press—is like the Mighty Wurlitzer, a theatre organ of the days before World War II. It can dominate the airwaves, and the brainwaves, with any melody of its master’s choice. The likeness to the Mighty Wurlitzer was first used by the CIA’s first chief of political warfare, Frank Wisner, to describe his worldwide propaganda machine. And it is what the Presidency of Donald Trump is facing in the United States at this moment.
The British and their agents are pulling out all the stops of their Mighty Wurlitzer to push South Africans’ buttons with every conceivable half-truth, lie, and fantasy against the Zuma government and the ANC. Thus, every so often, one of the opposition parties calls for a vote of no confidence as a kind of battering ram, attempting to keep Zuma and the government off balance and diverted from the tasks of government, and with the ultimate goal of toppling him, and splintering his faction and the ANC at large. Is this constitutional democracy, or is it regime change? Britain’s new High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey—having come straight from 10 Downing Street as an advisor to the prime minister, and with regime change experience—presides over this hideous performance of the music of Hell.

This is happening because South Africa is important on the world stage, and is a serious threat to the British neocolonial empire.

What Is at Stake?

Think of South Africa in relation to the single most important process on foot in the world today—the rise of China as a productive economy and China’s decision to export its success through the now famous Belt and Road Initiative. China is offering infrastructure and manufacturing capacity in exchange for whatever an African, Asian, or other country has to offer, even potentially the United States. In China, manufacturing as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is an astounding 40%. In Subsaharan Africa, although South Africa is the leader, South Africa’s percentage is only 13% (Nigeria 9%, Ethiopia 4%). For China’s initiative to succeed, it needs the cooperation of its partner, South Africa, which has the only full-set economy on the continent and the highest literacy rate, 94%. South Africa is the gateway for the industrialization of Africa!

Opposing China’s initiative is the British Empire, including the U.S. Establishment of the Bushes and Obama. The Empire will not stand idly by, while its economic model for Africa—once described perfectly by the late John Garang of Sudan as “misery management”—is crushed by the bulldozers, caterpillar tractors, rail lines, and steel mills of the new Africa. The Empire believes it can prevent the Chinese initiative—and the closely related BRICS process—from bursting out beyond the Eurasian continent. And perhaps—the British oligarchs believe—the entire Belt and Road initiative can be rolled up.

After all, in August 2016 it succeeded in toppling Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who brought her country into the BRICS, in a regime-change process similar to the one now underway in South Africa. It overthrew Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, another enthusiast for the BRICS process, after a campaign of lies and vilification in December 2015. Both presidents were succeeded by political allies of the vulture capitalists and are dismantling the state sector in the two countries.

What is at stake, therefore, is not just the success of the Belt and Road Initiative in Africa. It is a question of whether the British Empire—by stopping the initiative in South America and Africa—might be able to go so far as to actually strangle the child in its cradle, so that the evil of the British Empire may survive. South Africans must see their responsibility to the human race in this light. The world needs the help of South Africa.

State Capture

Britain has owned South Africa for the past two hundred years. It has ruled South Africa for the benefit of its Empire, first with boots on the ground, and now as a neocolonial empire held together by financial, propaganda, and psychological warfare. But today, President Zuma and his ruling faction of the ANC are challenging British hegemony, and they can and must win: There is no other issue. Corruption is not the issue. The wrongdoing of the Gupta brothers is not the issue. These are serious problems, but they are being used as surrogates.

The British have finally opted to crown their accusations with the supreme charge, that Jacob Zuma is attempting to “capture the state.” With that lie, they are taking a great risk. It could prompt many South Africans to realize that Zuma is attempting to rescue the state from its British captors. “But he is not proceeding in a democratic manner!” the gremlins howl. There is indeed another level of democracy, which functions outside of Robert’s Rules of Order.

President Zuma’s political machine is the only formation in South Africa that the British Empire fears. It is the only one that has the guts to say, as Zuma himself recently told Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the opposition in Parliament, “Don’t feed me your English words from London!” The Zuma machine is at present the only one that is actually prepared to take the country back from the Empire and adopt an economic model for the development of the country that will actually work.

The proper name for that model is the economics of the American founding father, Alexander Hamilton. It is better known today through its Chinese approximation, the economics of the People’s Republic of China.2 Even China’s detractors will tell you that in China, in the past 30 years, 700 million people have risen up out of the direst poverty. And that, above all else in the world, is what the British Empire fears.

The British know that they can no longer prevail in South Africa. A government that continues to depend on the economics of London and Wall Street, will bring strife. The British objective at this point is not to prevail, but to ensure that the forces represented by the Zuma faction also do not prevail. Strife and chaos are, therefore, the British preference, whatever the government. They will sacrifice their own friends in South Africa, when necessary, to achieve it.

For South Africans to get a proper perspective on the present moment, and break out of the controlled environment of the Mighty Wurlitzer, it may help to bring to light an earlier case of the British Empire’s perfidy and deceit.

  1. 1948—Britain’s Hidden Perfidy3

It is common knowledge that the British government, from its highest levels, helped South Africa throw off the yoke of apartheid. But that is far, far from the real story, which casts the British in a strikingly different light. What the British will not tell you, is that they also put the National Party, the party of apartheid, in power in 1948, in the first place. Consider this history of perfidy and deceit as you face the gale-force propaganda campaign against President Zuma and his government. The old perfidy and this new one—among many others—come from the same source.

We begin with the situation of South Africa and its prime minister at the time of World War II, 1939-1945.

During the war, the British had urgent need of war production from every possible quarter. South Africa’s Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, was eager to help. Smuts headed the United Party, the dominant, British-steered party that included virtually all of the South Africans of British heritage and most of those Afrikaners who did not put Afrikaner nationalism first.

Smuts himself was an Afrikaner who, as a young man, had studied at Cambridge University and then worked for the arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes. But he had been shocked by Rhodes’ attempted coup (the Jameson Raid, December 1895) against the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, whose capital was Pretoria, and led guerillas against the British in the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. When the British prevailed, using a policy of scorched earth and concentration camps against the Afrikaners, Smuts helped to negotiate peace with the British. Smuts learned to work with the British and the British relied upon him.

Much later, in the course of World War II, he became a confidant of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a participant in the British War Cabinet whenever he was in London. To meet the urgent needs of the war, Smuts asked H.J. van der Bijl, a physicist and engineer, to organize wartime industrial production, and van der Bijl’s work became a major step forward in South Africa’s industrialization.

Black workers were needed as never before. Industry required the urbanization and participation of more and more of the Black population. There was a 72% increase in the numbers of Black workers in private manufacturing between 1939 and 1946, while Black mineworkers decreased slightly over the same period in absolute numbers.4

The workers sought better pay and better conditions, and there were strikes, especially when the end of the war was on the horizon. When the war ended in 1945, the workers’ self confidence and militance did not just evaporate. In fact, many Blacks had served in the war far from home, and had gained greater self assurance and knowledge of the wider world. There were more strikes. Smuts would not yield on any matter of substance, and the strikes were put down. But it was clear that relations between black workers and white bosses in the postwar world would never be the same as before. But the rulers of the British Empire did not want to come into direct, ongoing conflict with Black Africa.

The Empire was equally dead set against the continued industrialization of South Africa, which the Empire itself had encouraged during the war. The British policy, in fact, was that South Africa should scale back its industry.5 But the wartime industrial build-up still had momentum and domestic political support after the war. The Empire’s industrialization “problem” was not just a matter of what happened in South Africa. There were also large settler communities in Kenya and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) that were potentially dangerous to the Empire. These white settler communities, largely of British heritage, had political opposition elements of an anti-imperial nature, as in the case of the Afrikaners in South Africa, with thoughts of becoming independent, and they looked to South Africa for leadership. They, too, had industrialization on their minds.

Posing as the Friend of the African

The British oligarchs had already decided that continued imperial mastery required that they pose as the friend of the African throughout Subsaharan Africa, as against the European colonial settlers, even those of British descent. Smuts could not be of help for this purpose.

The decision to pose as “the friend of the African” was already evident, long before World War II, in London’s response to a threatened coup by the colonial settlers in Kenya against the British governor in 1923, over racial policy, which the governor was attempting to soften only slightly. The Kenya White Paper of 1923 warned the settlers:

Primarily Kenya is an African territory, and His Majesty’s Government think it necessary definitely to record their considered opinion that the interests of the African natives must be paramount, and that if and when those interests and the interests of the immigrant races should conflict, the former should prevail.6

That was a statement of how the British government would play the game of empire in Africa, and dealing with South Africa was the cornerstone. But the implementation of such a momentous change of appearances—into “friend of the African”—was not like crossing the street. Each settler community would have to be dealt with in its context.

For South Africa, London’s decision was to do the seemingly unthinkable—to throw the 1948 election to the National Party, the country’s strongest party of Afrikaner nationalism. Let the Afrikaner nationalists face the rising anger and determination of the Blacks! Then “we British” can side with the Blacks to crush forever the independent power of Afrikaner nationalism and industrialism.

The National Party’s racial policy, apartheid, included the proposal to achieve “complete separation of the races.” Even the existing Black urban populations would be expelled from the cities to bleak, artificially created “homelands” that would become “sovereign,” thereby breaking up the country into statelets, with the white state having de facto hegemony. That was a tall order from any perspective.

The National Party as a whole may have been happy with the emotional, vote-getting appeal of its racial propaganda, but to understand the party, one must recognize that it had two wings with different outlooks and policies. The Transvaal wing was influenced by the new outlook of the large-scale, mechanized farmers and industrialists, who sought to exploit Blacks rather than banish and dump them. The Cape wing was the wing of rural traditionalism, at least, that description fit the bulk of its voters.7 The Cape wing, which found it easier to imagine the “complete separation of the races,” was in power within the party in the immediate postwar years and formed the party’s first government in 1948.

The British perhaps believed, or rather hoped, that once in power, the Cape wing—not the Transvaal industrializers—could implement enough of the apartheid program to put the brakes on industrialization or actually reverse it, in the name of white security, identity, and purity. Of course, it did not play out that way, but for the British, it was a step in the right direction. The oligarchs do not really expect plans of this sort to work for very long, and are always ready for a shift in modus operandi. They cover their tracks with false humility, saying “We British always muddle through,” as if they didn’t know what they were doing.

In fact, the dominance of the Cape wing was short lived. Many Black families and individuals were removed from the cities and dumped in the homelands. But despite the waves of removals, which often gained strength when an election neared, the number of Blacks in the cities increased steadily,8 as the Transvaal wing pursued industrialization with zest—unaware that in so doing, they were preparing the ground for the transfer of political power to a largely Black government, and possibly more than just that. Industrialization empowers a people.

Putting the National Party in Power

The evidence that the British threw the 1948 election to the National Party is clear enough. Smuts, who had been energetic as a leader in World War II, scarcely allowed his United Party to fight for victory in the 1948 election, keeping it in a defensive position and handing victory to the National Party on a silver platter. What happened, and where was London’s hand in it?

A key element in Smuts’ sabotage of his own party was his refusal to make a perfectly justifiable change in the electoral law that many of the party’s leaders believed would have guaranteed his victory. This requires some explaining. The Constitution of 1910, a deal between British and Afrikaners that locked Blacks out, gave a handicap to rural voters. Blacks had no vote, apart from the small numbers of the “Cape Coloured,” who had a vote of sorts. British settlers were largely urban, and Afrikaners were largely rural. Because South African roads were so poor in 1910, rural settlers were at a disadvantage in getting to the polls. The law provided that rural votes would be weighted to compensate. But by the end of the war, the country had changed, and the network of roads was well developed. A change in the law was justifiable, and Smuts had a large enough majority in the House of Assembly to make the change. Smuts did not wish to fight the National Party on the issue of the color bar, thinking it would cost him votes, but he could have gained advantage by removing the weighted vote.

When some of his advisers discussed this possible change with him, Smuts cut them off and dismissed the idea as unnecessary, saying “I know my people.” But in private correspondence, he sang a different tune, as we shall see.

Smuts did not significantly mobilize his party for the election until the last 30 days before election day, May 26, while the National Party was on a roll for 18 months. He had a weak network of volunteers and few professionals, while the National Party’s organizers, who did not expect to win, were nonetheless on fire, using their noxious swart gevaar (black threat) propaganda, and used paid professionals to good effect. According to Smuts’ biographer, the newspapers aligned with the United Party—

appeared to take the line that South Africans had many other things to think about besides the general election. In the Johannesburg Star, for example, the election did not become front page news until the last few days of the campaign. The Cape Times improved upon that performance by no more than a few weeks.9

The Royal Visit

Smuts had shown a more lively commitment to industrial progress during the war. For example, in February 1942, he addressed the Institute of Race Relations in Cape Town, and said in part,

A revolutionary change is taking place among the Native peoples of Africa through the movement from the country to the … big European centers of population. Segregation tried to stop it. It has, however, not stopped it in the least. The process has been accelerated. You might as well try to sweep the ocean back with a broom.

… That outlook which treats the African and Native as not counting, is making the ghastliest mistake possible. If he is not much more, he is the beast of burden; he is the worker and you need him. He is carrying the country on his back.

Smuts continued, in this address, to discuss the needs of the urban Black worker, with respect to education, health, housing, nutrition, and wages,10 but without regard for his humanity.

How did Smuts’ 1947-1948 non-campaign look from London? He and his United Party were at that time the instrument of the British Empire in South Africa, and South Africa was of strategic importance to the Empire in multiple ways. Were the controllers in London unaware of these seemingly strange doings? Of course not. There were telephone and telegraph communications, and people of importance were constantly travelling back and forth between London and South Africa.

The monarchy’s intense interest in, and attention to South Africa was unmistakable. The first-ever state visit of a British monarch to South Africa began on Feb. 17, 1947, when the king, queen, and the two princesses disembarked at Cape Town, 15 months before the election. They criss-crossed the country, visiting every city and many towns for almost 10 weeks, with Smuts almost always at their side. It was implicitly a campaign tour for Smuts’ United Party, and King George made every effort to make a show of friendship to the Afrikaners, which was just what Smuts needed. But it was also an opportunity for the monarchy to gather intelligence and evaluate the state of the country.

If the masters of the Empire were alarmed by what Smuts was doing or not doing over the next fifteen months, they could easily have organized a course correction. Smuts loved the monarchy—and King George VI was, after all, the monarch of South Africa—and would not have gone against the judgment of the king’s privy councillors and ministers, despite his policy difference with the British government. (Smuts wanted to incorporate Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana into South Africa.)

With the departure of the royal family, Smuts began to show pessimism for the first time, privately, to just two or three correspondents. He wrote to one close friend, “All other governments have fallen in this post-war time—why should I not fall too?” He might be beaten, but he would at least see the election through, he said.11 What had King George and his entourage told Smuts, or what had Smuts found out during the visit? To his other correspondents, and in public, Smuts almost always showed optimism. He had to win and he would win, he would say. But as we have seen, neither he nor the British government, after the royal visit, did much of anything to ensure a United Party victory.

In the election, there were 621,000 votes for the United Party and its Labour Party ally. There were 462,000 votes for the National Party and its allied Afrikaner Party. If all votes had been counted without weighting, there would have been 80 seats in Parliament for Smuts, and 60 for D.F. Malan of the National Party, with 10 seats going to others, who were largely pro-Smuts.

But Smuts had lost. With the weighting in favor of the rural votes, the United and Labour parties got 71 seats, and the National and Afrikaner parties got 79.12

Smuts did not resign his leadership of the United Party. He remained in place long enough to oppose the idea of an alliance with the Afrikaner Party, which had quickly become unhappy with its association with the Nationalists. Such an alliance, had it ever materialized, could have brought the United Party back into power at the next election.

Rethink the Empire’s Narrative

What had happened? The evidence does not allow one to just say that Smuts was now old and tired. He knew how to delegate responsibilities, but he chose not to do so, and he obstructed. The answer is clear: The British were bringing their new policy to South Africa. They were abandoning their longstanding policy of overt white “race patriotism.” (Even British cabinet ministers would have to stop referring to Blacks as “niggers” in their correspondence.) They were jettisoning their racial policies, but handing off to the National Party, whose racial policies were identical in most respects to those they were shedding, but more systematic and even more cruel. No longer would they work through a white government in South Africa.

The Empire would set up the National Party in power and then oppose it and crush it, playing the role of “the friend of the African.” The decolonization process was a way of perpetuating colonial rule by other means, and in Africa, the process was led by Andrew Cohen, who became assistant secretary in the Colonial Office in 1943. Decades later, one of Sir Andrew’s close associates in the Colonial Office, Ronald Robinson, explained it: “So-called decolonization was also a question of prolonging the Empire. Decolonization was never intended in economic and diplomatic terms. Cohen was the first to realize that an alliance with black nationalism was the key to prolonging colonial rule.“13

British operations inside the Afrikaner camp were important, but are not included in this report.

London became the world headquarters of the struggle against apartheid, and South Africans in exile flocked to London. The British let the world know that they were the beneficent ones, even while they continued to exercise extensive remote control over the National Party government through control over the economy and the judiciary. They wanted to put Blacks in power from very un-African motives, from imperial motives, in the belief that Blacks would be more malleable, more easily controlled, than the white settlers, saying in effect, “Let them have political power. We will retain hegemony in the economic and propaganda spheres.”14

Do not ask, “What should Smuts have done? Wasn’t he boxed in by the National Party’s strategy of dropping all other campaign issues to stoke the fires of racial fears and hatreds?” The answer is: “It’s the Empire, stupid!” Once you accept the Empire, most of your choices have already been made for you.

Yes, Black South Africans, the British Empire was there to help you. When you or your parents—on your way into exile—crossed into Botswana at night, those nice chaps from MI6 were there to see you safely to town or to an encampment. But they helped you with what intention? When Nelson Mandela was released in 1990 and it became possible to think of a negotiated transition, Her Majesty’s High Commissioner, Sir Robin Renwick, had already reached out to you (he is now Lord Renwick, vice chairman of JP Morgan Cazenove, with multiple mining interests). But for whose benefit did he reach out? The British say they have no permanent friends, only permanent interests. For once, the truth! The preservation of Empire is the first and foremost of those interests.

Rethink the false narrative that the British have offered to keep you on their side. Do not allow their self-serving fiction to colour the decisions you make today.


British Apartheid Began in 1809

The British Empire was practicing apartheid in South Africa for 139 years before the National Party, led by Afrikaners, came to power in South Africa in 1948. In 1809, the British Governor of the Cape Colony, Du Pré Alexander, Second Earl Caledon, enacted by proclamation the first law requiring Blacks to carry a pass book at all times, showing where they were authorized to live and who their employer was. But British apartheid was not limited to South Africa. In Kenya, the first pass law was implemented in Nairobi in 1901.

In Cities in Contemporary Africa (2006),14 contributor Elizabeth Campbell recounts the subsequent elaboration of British apartheid in Nairobi:

Ultimately, half of Kenya’s arable land was appropriated by the British; thus, as more [African] families and communities faced displacement through new labor regimes, large-scale cash-crop farming, and the general deepening of capitalist relations, there was indeed rapid rural to urban migration. … In 1919 the colonial government created designated “native areas” in town. Still, the Nairobi City Council continued to forbid any African to reside permanently in the city. The colonial government continued to treat Africans as short-term wage earners and temporary residents, since their “real” homes were somewhere in the rural areas. Consequently, the segregated “native areas,” located to the east of the railway and downstream from the industrial discharge, were designed on the cheapest possible basis. … The attitude of municipal authorities toward African housing was well expressed in 1930:

“It seems only right that it should be understood that the town is a non-native area in which there is no place for the redundant native, who neither works nor serves his or her people. The exclusion of these redundant natives is in the interests of natives and non-natives alike …” [cited from Roger van Zwanenberg, Colonial Capitalism and Labor in Kenya, 1919-1939 (1975), p. 268.]

… At independence in 1963 it was estimated that 50 percent of Nairobi’s total population (70 percent of the [Nairobi] African population) lived in Eastlands, which at that time accounted for only 10 percent of the total housing area. The African population in Nairobi always outnumbered the white settler population, hovering between 60-70 percent until independence …


  1. References to “the British” in this article do not refer to the generality of British subjects or to South Africans of British heritage as a whole. “The British” should be understood as referring to the British oligarchical families and their operatives.
  2. Brian Lantz, “The Truths Driving China’s Banking System Today,” Executive Intelligence Review, July 14, 2017, p. 33. The article is currently restricted to subscribers, but will be released to the general public on Aug. 26 with a changed URL. Search for it by author and title.
  3. This section is part of the first draft of a longer study of South Africa’s fight for industrialization. The completed study may appear in the Executive Intelligence Review.
  4. Dan O’Meara, Forty Lost Years (1996), p. 24: “An additional 134,000 African workers entered industrial employment between 1939 and 1946, and the ratio of African workers employed in private manufacturing to those employed in mining increased from 187:348 in 1939 to 321:328.” South Africa’s total population grew from 10 million in 1939, to 11.4 million in 1946.
  5. The policy was expressed, for example, in the publication of Lord Milner’s group, The Round Table Journal: A Quarterly Review of the Politics of the British Empire, shortly after the war’s end.
  6. Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, A History of the World in Our Time (1966), p. 152.
  7. The nature of the difference, never underscored in public or the press, can be read between the lines in, for example, John D’Oliveira, Vorster—The Man (1977), and Robert Lacour-Gayet, A History of South Africa (1978).
  8. Owen Crankshaw and Susan Parnell, “Race, Inequality and Urbanization in the HYPERLINK “https://open.uct.ac.za/bitstream/item/21838/article_hum_2002_crankshaw_owen_parnell_susan.pdf?sequence=1″Johannesburg Region, 1946-1996,” University of Cape Town, CSSR, Working Paper No. 20 (2002), Figure 3.
  9. W.K. Hancock, Smuts: The Fields of Force, 1919-1950 (1968); this is vol. II of the biography. Pp. 502-503. For more on Smuts’ weak campaign, see Bernard Friedman, Smuts: A Reappraisal (1976), and Alan Paton, Hofmeyr (1964).
  10. Hancock, Smuts, II, pp. 475-476.
  11. Hancock, Smuts, II, p. 496.
  12. Hancock, Smuts, II, p. 505.
  13. EIR Investigative Team, Tiny Rowland: The Ugly Face of Neocolonialism in Africa (1993), p. 10.
  14. See EIR Investigative Team Tiny Rowland, p. 127, for documentation.
  15. Elizabeth H. Campbell, “Economic Globalization from Below: Transnational Refugee Trade Networks in Nairobi,” in: Cities in Contemporary Africa, Martin J. Murray and Garth A. Myers, eds. (2006), pp. 128-129.

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