Regime Change Movement, Against BRICS and Nuclear Power, Is ‘Marching to Pretoria’
by Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane
The regime change mobilisation got underway with the 16 June press conference of Zwelinzima Vavi, Irvin Jim, the United Front, and others, announcing a 19 August mega-march on the Union Buildings and Parliament. The planned march of 100,000 is consistent with the British imperial regime change plan described in an article I co-wrote, ‘No to British Regime Change in South Africa!’ (Executive Intelligence Review, 16 January 2015). The march is not about corruption.
The South African government—a member of BRICS, and planning for more nuclear—is facing a British-guided opposition which wants neither BRICS nor nuclear, both of which are game changers.
That conflict is part of a worldwide struggle which prominently features Greece’s resistance to the murderous demands for austerity of the IMF and the ruling European institutions, all fronting for the big banks. Greece is threatening to turn to the BRICS bank. Why this struggle? Because the British global financial system, from Wall Street to Frankfurt, to Singapore, has been based increasingly on speculation and less and less on physical production. This is a system that destroys itself, and in the process, progressively loots the people who have had to support it. Now the system is in its death throes, and more dangerous than ever.
We are in a crisis of world historical proportions. It brings with it a corresponding opportunity to change the system. A key adviser to Russian President Putin, Sergey Glazyev, remarked in May that the New Development Bank (BRICS bank) would not compete with the IMF, because ‘the purpose of the BRICS development institution is to help develop its member countries, while Washington-led financial institutions, the IMF and the World Bank are no longer doing this’.
Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations, admitted to a colleague of mine that BRICS can solve South Africa’s economic problems. But he is against it, he says, because South Africa’s participation in the BRICS process—to revive the world economy, provide jobs, and raise living standards—’is not good for Western investors’. That is true only in the sense that the London-centred global system will no longer have the power, and profits will doubtless be lower. However, BRICS will benefit Western investors by returning them to the production of humanity’s needs, and thus will return them to some semblance of sanity.
It would be foolish to imagine that the planned August mega-march on Pretoria, and/or the follow-on events, will ‘go smoothly’. An exemplar of what, at the highest levels, is probably intended, is what happened in the Maidan in Kiev on 20 February 2014, when the demonstrators and the police were maintaining some degree of mutual respect, more or less. Snipers—apparently under the command of Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of the swastika-waving Svoboda fascists who were important in the overthrow of the government—entered Hotel Ukraine facing the Maidan and ascended to a higher floor. They proceeded to shoot some of the police, and then some of the demonstrators, triggering the mayhem which the regime change strategy required. The shooting of the demonstrators was of course blamed on President Yanukovich, and was the shock event triggering his flight from Ukraine.
In the present South African case, there could also be a striking reaction to the shock event on the international financial markets by prearrangement, but chalked up to ‘fear of instability’.
Obviously, there are many possible variations on this scenario. What happened at Marikana was probably one of them. The special ops side of the demo planned for August could be run by a private security company, the security department of a major corporation, or very possibly some other way. At least one large South African corporation has maintained a high-level security capability, going back to the days of its involvement in the assassination of Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd.
Needless to say, even the nominal leaders of the march, including Zwelinzima Vavi, cannot be informed of such sinister plans. The leaders and the mass of those who will march have good intentions. They are indignant and angry over dreams deferred. They wrongly believe that, because President Zuma has weaknesses and limitations, he must be the root cause of South Africa’s extensive problems, or at least, the main obstacle to their solution. These intentions and emotions, by themselves, provide no protection from the cynical and evil manipulations to which they will be subjected by the likes of the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland of regime change renown.
However, because the course and outcome of previous regime change movements, and the identity of their beneficiaries, are well documented, the organisers who plan to topple Zuma either know, or should know, that they are deeply in the wrong. They have been warned.
Let’s come at this from another angle. Richard Calland is no ordinary South African. Why would a London barrister of seven years’ standing throw over his practice in 1994, relocate to South Africa, and work for the victory of the ANC in the crucial election of that year? In 1995 he resigned from the ANC to become one of the leaders of the prominent ‘non-partisan’ Institute for a Democratic Alternative in South Africa (IDASA). His recent, encyclopaedic work, The Zuma Years, shows that he has been able to talk to almost everyone, and has been able to understand the inner workings and dynamics of South Africa as few leaders of think tanks (and fewer journalists and scholars) ever do. In 2010, he indirectly called for Zuma’s resignation by concluding his 19 February Mail & Guardian column with these words: ‘some are already reaching the conclusion: Zuma should go—and go now’.
Now, five years later, in an 23 April 2015 Mail & Guardian commentary entitled, ‘Maimane may engineer Zuma’s exit’. Calland foresees the possibility of the new DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, negotiating Zuma’s resignation with the ANC in exchange for the DA withdrawing its legal challenge which could possibly send Zuma to prison for corruption. Some consider the idea preposterous. But, wait a moment. How can it be that Richard Calland, the same who wrote The Zuma Years, is proposing something evidently absurd? At least some of his readers will understand that there are crucial, but unstated pieces of his picture. They will know to ask, under what conditions would Calland’s proposal make sense? The answer is, under the conditions of a deep, immediate crisis shock. One can be sure that Calland has such a shock in mind. He does not hint at who within the ANC, in his view, might be a suitable replacement for President Zuma.
Motlanthe—the once and future president
In fact, the candidate of choice for the British opposition (that is, the DA, EFF, and parts of the ANC, taken together) is former President Kgalema Motlanthe. Despite his reputation as a Mr Clean, he is more corrupt than the self-seeking individual or the corrupt office holder, because he is dedicated to turning South Africa back to the British oligarchs and their American agents.
Current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was long favored by the British-oriented interests, is apparently now seen as too loyal to South African national interests. In fact, he was very efficiently smeared by British interests in the wake of the 16 August 2012 massacre of miners by police at a Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana near Rustenburg, by taking advantage of the fact that he was a member of the Lonmin board. His email of 15 August 2012 to Lonmin management stated that something had to be done to put an end to the violence of the preceding days, in which strikers, police, and security personnel had been murdered. His language, that ‘there needs to be concomitant action to address this situation’. and the fact of his having communicated with the Minister of Police and Minister of Mineral Resources on that need, was taken to mean that he was responsible in some degree for the massacre! This distortion was then successfully fed to the mass media.
The choice, rather, is Motlanthe. In late April and early May of this year, Motlanthe visited the United States. He met officials at the US State Department, White House, US Institute of Peace, Congress, and several foundations. He also went to New York City, itinerary there unknown.
He went on to Houston, where he visited the World Affairs Council of Houston. One thinks immediately of the Bush family. The Council’s officers and directors include representatives of Halliburton, Schlumberger, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Shell Oil, among others. Its funders include BP, Saudi Aramco, and JPMorgan.
Although Motlanthe is a former President of South Africa, he made no appearances at major public institutions during his US visit, and the visit was not reported in any of the major US or South African press.
His visit was given the cover of being simply to commemorate the anti-apartheid struggle; it was nominally organised by the Washington-based Sojourners organisation (‘Faith in Action for Social Justice’) on behalf of the Liliesleaf Farm Trust, which operates the heritage site in Rivonia. But if it had actually been intended to commemorate the anti-apartheid struggle, why was it not highly public? ExxonMobil and JPMorgan’s World Affairs Council of Houston is not known for its empathy with the sufferings of the anti-apartheid struggle, even though the council’s sponsors—like their City of London mother—were eager to see the Afrikaner establishment pushed out. Motlanthe’s previous US visit, in 2011, was very public, and featured a keynote address at the New York Stock Exchange among other appearances, and the press was invited; he was at that time still Deputy President of South Africa.
Motlanthe—the 2012 background
Some of Motlanthe’s recent background helps.
In the 2012 election for ANC president, Motlanthe was promoted as an alternative to the incumbent, Jacob Zuma.
Prominent among those backers in 2012 were Tokyo Sexwale, then former Premier of Gauteng, who was seen as a President Motlanthe’s Deputy President; Mathews Phosa, then ANC Treasurer General and former Mpumalanga Premier; then former Police Commissioner Bheki Cele; Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula who had organised the ANC campaign in the 2009 general election; and Pallo Jordan, then a member of the ANC and of its National Executive Committee and a Business Day columnist.
The campaign for Motlanthe was led by Paul Mashatile, then Minister of Arts and Culture and former Premier of Gauteng, who is now chairman of the Gauteng ANC.
The Sunday Times in October 2011 considered that the ANC’s ‘Johannesburg region was positioning itself as a springboard for his [Motlanthe’s] campaign’.
Motlanthe did get 25% of the vote, but he and his backers must have known at the outset that he would lose in a contest with incumbent Zuma. He also must at least have suspected that if he ran and lost, Zuma would not reappoint him as Deputy President of South Africa.
So why did he—and they—do it?
Motlanthe’s backers must have realised that if he remained Deputy President, he was not likely to become Zuma’s successor in turn. But running against Zuma could not succeed either. So, what was the point?
Putting Motlanthe into the Presidency was seen by his backers as a longer term project, beyond 2012. That explains the great effort which went into his candidacy. The 2011 pilgrimage to the New York Stock Exchange and other somewhat less venerable shrines in the US was a part of it. Another major contribution was the publication of a full-dress biography, Kgalema Motlanthe—A Political Biography, by former Mail & Guardian columnist and Wits PhD in sociology Ebrahim Harvey. The biography was funded by, among others, African Rainbow Minerals (Patrice Motsepe) and the Oppenheimer Trust. (Interestingly, Motlanthe’s father Louis had worked in the head office of the Anglo American Corporation in Johannesburg.)
The book itself gives some further indications of Motlanthe’s ‘constituency’.
Lord Robert Renwick, who had been Margaret Thatcher’s envoy to South Africa:
‘There is no South African leader since Nelson Mandela who is more highly respected overseas…’ (May 2012)
Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor, Wits: Motlanthe is ‘seen as the only feasible alternative to Jacob Zuma’.
Prof Emeritus Eddie Webster, SWOP, Wits: ‘Harvey reveals for the first time vital information on what makes Kgalema Motlanthe the leader he is today. It is a remarkable story…’
Prof Patrick Bond, Director, Centre for Civil Society, UKZN: Motlanthe is ‘a past and probably future president’.
Mbete exposes regime change plan
Fast forward to 2015. ANC Chairperson Baleka Mbete on April 12 accused a group of ANC MPs—whose names she did not mention—of plotting to unseat Zuma before the ANC National General Council meeting in October. She indicated that the MPs in question were among those who had backed the loser, that is, Motlanthe, in the 2012 election for ANC president.
Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile, mentioned above as the lead organiser for Motlanthe in 2012, has now indeed re-emerged publicly as one of the leaders of the current ANC opposition to Zuma. At the 11 June event in Midrand organised by the Daily Maverick, called ‘The Gathering—Influencing Influencers’. Mashatile took issue in a low key way with Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s report on Nkandla expenditure. It was a clear signal.
The other notables present, insofar as they have been named in the press, were Vavi, Malema, Maimane, and Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim. It was a gathering of the opposition to Zuma from the ANC, COSATU, EFF, and DA.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is aligned with Mashatile.
‘The Gathering’ on 11 June and the 16 June mega-march announcement at the press conference featuring Vavi, are aspects of the same organising process.
The pieces fit together—or do they?
How do the elements fit together? Jonny Steinberg and Jane Duncan are conjuring up, for the edification members of the Zuma government, images of their being humiliated and possibly tortured, before being publicly executed as a result of a coup or a popular uprising (Steinberg, ‘Violence and its rehearsals are signs of new era’, BDlive, 30 May 2015; Duncan, ‘The Political Significance of South Africa’s Protests’, AllAfrica, 13 April 2015). Richard Calland is playing the ‘soft cop’, saying, in effect, that it doesn’t need to come to that. Rather, Zuma could agree to step down if his adversaries guarantee him immunity from the corruption charges. None of this makes sense unless there is a dramatic political and/or economic shock. The August mega-march, and/or its successors, will provide opportunities for such a shock, whether by accident or intervention. The latter is not only possible, it is probable. The march, as so far described, has no concrete action as its goal, apart from screaming at the government over corruption. The absence of any more concrete purpose is itself ominous. When the shock comes, Motlanthe will already be in position to replace Zuma. South Africa will again orient to the poisonous and dying British global financial empire, even if nominal membership in BRICS is maintained at the level of ‘deals’.
But, by the law of unintended consequences, this nicely sculpted, evil manipulation is not likely to remain within the control of its creators. The results could indeed be much, much worse and, given its creators’ genocidal intentions, they will have no regrets (for those intentions, see ‘No to British Regime Change in South Africa!’ cited above). The neat scenario may, in fact, be meant for the consumption of—or even have been crafted by—those at the management level of the planned regime change, whose wishful thinking blinds them to the possibility of catastrophe.