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Zuma Proves State Capture Is Real

The idea that the businessman could solicit the intervention of a mayor to resolve his private dispute with a bank sounds like madness.

It would take a mayor who has been corrupted beyond repair to allow himself to be used by a private client to resolve a bank dispute.

In the first place, no bank is authorised to divulge confidential information of clients to a third party. The only third party empowered by law to access private bank accounts are law enforcement agencies.

How, then, would a mayor hope to assist a businessman to resolve a dispute with a bank? What does a mayor have to do with private bank accounts?

If you find this bizarre, think of Jacob Zuma and the Guptas’ bank accounts.

When our big four banks apparently found criminality involving the Guptas’ accounts, they notified them that their accounts would be closed, as it is a requirement of all banks to do.

Instead of taking up the matter with the banks, the Guptas wrote to their friend, Zuma, requesting him to intercede for them.

By the way, South Africa has the Banking Ombudsman, an authority duly empowered to deal with complaints by bank clients. No, the Guptas did not go there; they went straight to Zuma. Why?

It is because they knew too well that their friend, through his son Duduzane Zuma, is personally affected by the closing of the Guptas’ bank accounts.

No person of sound mind believes the subterfuge that Zuma intervened to save jobs. If Zuma was truly serious about saving jobs, why did he not stop Telkom from retrenching thousands of workers? Remember that Zuma’s government is a majority shareholder in Telkom.

Again, is it not Zuma’s government that massacred workers in Marikana? The idea that Zuma is concerned about workers is believed only by those who have suspended their thinking.

What did Zuma do when the Guptas told him to intervene on their behalf?

Believe it or not, Zuma constituted a cabinet subcommittee – including Mosebenzi Zwane, Mildred Oliphant and Pravin Gordhan – to go and meet the banks on behalf of the Guptas.

If anybody needed more evidence of state capture, there you have it. An announcement was made in broad daylight by Radebe that they will meet the banks on behalf of the Guptas.

This is the first time since 1994 that cabinet dispatches ministers to go and negotiate with banks to reopen accounts belonging to private individuals.

It could never happen under Nelson Mandela, certainly not under Thabo Mbeki.

Fortunately, SA is not a banana republic yet. Our country still has strong regulation and institutions. Whatever the Guptas may have told Zwane before he was appointed, he has no powers to instruct banks to reopen bank accounts belonging to private businesspeople.

South Africans can rest assured that Zuma’s ministers will come back empty-handed. The banks can never communicate information about their private clients to anybody – not even to Zuma himself.

In a polite way, the banks will tell Zuma’s ministers to go jump into the nearest lake and kiss a pregnant frog.

If the banks were to entertain Zuma’s ministers, it would mean that all manner of scoundrels would simply bribe Zuma to resolve their problems with banks. That would be the end of clean banking in SA.

It must not be forgotten that, on May 2 2011, Zuma met gangsters in Western Cape. According to the Mail and Guardian, one of the gangsters, referring to Zuma, said: “The old-timer is a fucker just like us.” The other gangster asked Zuma to sort out his tax troubles with SARS.

If Zuma can dispatch his ministers to negotiate with banks for his dodgy business friends, the Guptas, only God knows what he does to SARS, an agency under Zuma’s control.

All this answers the fundamental question: Why does Zuma cling to power, even when it is obvious that South Africans are fed up with him?

The first reason is that Zuma is bent on using the state as an instrument of private wealth accumulation. If it means deploying ministers in his sordid affairs, he will do it.

The second, perhaps most important, reason is that Zuma is a man trying to dodge more than 700 criminal charges that were dropped illegally. The possibility of him ending up like Jackie Selebi is real.

A man like that is very dangerous. He will stop at nothing to stay out of jail, and, given that he is serving his last term, it makes sense for Zuma to loot state resources as if there is no tomorrow.

source: Sowetan Live


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