By: Siyabonga Hadebe
The hit single by the late US rapper The Notorious B.I.G titled ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ hopefully makes more sense to many people now than it did when it was released over two decades ago.
This is especially true in lieu of what the ANC and South Africa are presently going through – money in politics proves to be a headache than politics itself.
One billion rands is a lot of money, it doesn’t matter how one wishes to interpret it. This money can buy more than just love, as we saw at the ANC’s national elective conference in 2017.
The question that should be asked is: What exactly is the meaning of the big bucks that that members of white corporate dynasty gave to one or more candidates who contested the ANC presidency just under two years ago?
This meaning shouldn’t be interpreted using the shallow lens that is currently being given to the public. But the political meaning of the ‘donation’ should go deeper than the present interpretation that focuses on money that exchanged hands.
Let the courts deal with money laundering and lawyers to deal with legalities of the ‘donations’.
As the public, our focus should be on the actual meaning or grand motive behind the decision by mostly white elites, see the last issue of the Sunday Independent, to give so much money to one candidate and not the organization.
The issue is no longer about who do we support and or oppose in the ongoing factional battles within the ANC, but the direction that our country is taking in light of socio-economic problems we face.
Democracy and its spin-offs remain mostly elusive to the majority black population and nobody has given cogent reasons why this is the case.
History books tell us that it was Corporate South Africa, not the apartheid regime, that initiated discussions for political change with the ANC while it was still exile. So basically this means that South Africans owe their present freedoms to white corporations, and not to anyone else.
And the ANC was just maidens to the negotiations, that is at least what empirical evidence indicates as far as how it relates to owners of capital: The ANC fears taking any decision that would upset the white dynasty especially on the matters of the economy.
As a result of this unique position in society, white corporations and their bosses understand that they are free to manipulate whatever social or political outcome using their deep pockets.
In this regard, they have stood firm in resisting economic transformation in South Africa. So, every policy intervention from BEE to labour rights is good for as long as it doesn’t challenge the position of white capital in society.
With 25 years gone and South Africans suffocating from the tight grip of capital, which has the latitude to manipulate anything and everything in society, white money is becoming aggressive.
As seen in the US with the rise of Donald Trump to the White House, it was evident that capital can easily take over a political system and direct the country in whatever direction it desires. Trump undermines everything that the US state is and what it was trying to achieve, not forgetting its evilness and dirtiness.
Learning from the US experience, white capital decided to join the ANC battles and, in a way, also took it upon themselves to tell South Africans what is going to happen.
There is no conspiracy behind the big monies and what they mean, but there is massive political symbolism, a victory of some sort.
So the debate is focusing on wrong things such as legality, donorship and or ANC practice.
The ongoing debate, unfortunately, excludes the true reality we face which is, paraphrasing Aubrey Matshiqi, in today’s South Africa numerical majority (black) has become a cultural minority and a numerical minority (white) has become a cultural majority.
The ANC’s conduct throughput has allowed this unsavory situation where the tail wags the dog. And, the dog is happy to be pulled from side to side by what is essentially a limb on its body.
White prism dominates how see, feel, touch, hear and smell what could be suitable or unsuitable solutions that this country requires in terms of the economy, politics, socially or otherwise.
The numerical majority is completely vanquished.
And yes we are told South Africa was ‘saved’. Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka says money was given donated “…to stop corruption, reduce poverty and save SA from Zuma, Guptas, etc”.
The million-dollar question is: which South Africa was being saved? By the way, the reality is that there are more than one South Africas with their parallel institutions and economy.
So the determination to save South Africa isn’t clear enough in the context of two countries in one. Even Thabo Mbeki admitted in one of his speeches as far back as 2003. He said that South Africa had two economies like a double-story house but “without a connecting staircase.”
And Matshiqi is correct to say, “SA belongs to all who live in it… except for the economy.” That is the economy in the upstairs of the house that must be protected at all cost, even if it means collapsing democratic institutions that were put in place to serve all South Africans in totality.
The billion rands ‘donation’ therefore is a way of maintaining this double-story building, with the assistance of the ANC.
It is for the reason that the ANC’s 5th National Policy Conference in 2017 reportedly was deeply divided over the use of the term ‘white monopoly capital’. Notwithstanding that seeming tug-of-war, white capital rules the house.
When it comes to the ‘donation’, it is not the amount of rands that counts but its political symbolism counts more.
Siya yi banga le economy!