Equal Education (EE) regards the state capture of South Africa as nothing less than a mortal threat to democracy.
As an organisation waging struggle to end racism and inequality we know that prospects for a progressive or revolutionary transformation of society die with state capture. It is the working class and the unemployed, the poor and the historically looted – the black majority – who are attacked and further looted when our democratic state is put into the top pocket of a few rich people. Instead of the state being a thin shield against a rapacious exploiting class – a vehicle for social security, healthcare, education, infrastructure and crime prevention – it becomes yet another sword to wound and plunder.
We recognise the courageous truth telling of Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas:
“Members of the Gupta family offered me the position of Minister of Finance to replace then- Minister Nene. I rejected this out of hand. The basis of my rejection of their offer is that it makes a mockery of our hard earned democracy, the trust of our people and no one apart from the President of the Republic appoints ministers.”
Those thinking of reshuffling Minister Jonas are warned to abandon that idea.
State capture is not tenderpreneurship. We are far beyond that. A tenderpreneur bribes a party or government official to land a state contract. But this is an order of magnitude different. State capture means every decision-making site must be secured. State investment arms and pension funds must be controlled to access financing for deals. Political leadership must be colonised to force favourable decisions and appointments. Trade Unions must be domesticated to extract help from their investment arms and to disarm their militant democratic members. Law enforcement and tax collection agencies must be disabled so that no illegality is ever investigated or punished. Chapter Nine institutions and Parliament itself must be hollowed out and stocked with lackeys.
Every pool of cash in the state is identified. Its coordinates are mapped. People are put in place to unlock its flow. It is diverted into the private accounts of StateCaptureInc.
The biggest pool of cash, the Treasury, is mounting its last stand. Funding for every social service hangs in the balance. Defending the Treasury does not mean defending ANC economic policy, and it does not mean defending racialised inequality. Our record is one of fearlessly contesting ANC economic policy and fighting against white economic supremacy. As Cde Jonas said: “Neither can we afford to allow the attempts to capture the state to divert us from dealing with the challenges that our country faces.” We defend Treasury today so that we can fight over its spending priorities tomorrow. We defend it today so that there is something to fight over tomorrow. When cash is stolen, when international and domestic borrowing costs go up, when the economy goes into recession, when the credibility of tax collection is destroyed, there is less collected and less available for social justice.
And the masses will not forever defend a democracy that abandons them in poverty. Without a radical social justice policy there is no hope of mobilising the social force needed to defeat state capture and return the state to the people.
The Gupta Family must spend decades in South African jail cells. We must all make it so. But they did not invent state capture. It is a global and historical phenomenon. From Eastern Europe and Russia to Columbia and Mexico, there is no emerging democracy immune to it. Halliburton’s role in organising the criminal Iraq War is an example of state capture in the world’s largest economy, the United States. State capture in South Africa is not new. The struggle against Apartheid was in part a struggle against state capture, to free a country and its state apparatus from the parasitic domination of a few at the expense of many. It is something against which a revolutionary people must always be vigilant.
As a movement of revolutionary youth we call on young people of South Africa to make themselves heard. We call on every youth formation to take a stand. We call on university students to defend their gains by protecting the funds they have won. We call on teachers, parents and above all learners to rise up and take back the state and make it fix our schools. We call for wealth tax and economic justice.
Equal Education demands the prosecution of the Gupta family. Equal Education demands the ANC recall President Zuma.
FOR COMMENT PLEASE CONTACT:
Tshepo Motsepe (EE General Secretary): 071 886 5637
Ntuthuzo Ndzomo (EE Deputy General Secretary): 072 931 4343