SA Week in Review

THIS week saw the politicians-for-sale graft scandal take a new turn with revelations that Brian Shivambu, the recipient of massive payouts from VBS bank, is not simply the brother of Floyd Shivambu but is also an EFF party organiser. A letter published by the Natal Mercury states: “Brian is not only a family member but an employee of the EFF. He is responsible for marketing EFF regalia and, according to Malema, he also does fund-raising for the party.”

According to Visvin Reddy, “Malema says that Brian deposits money into the EFF account from time to time for such things as hire of buses for rallies, etc. This, to me, is a cover up and an attempt to pre-empt the outcome of a further forensic investigation which will link funds deposited by Brian into the EFF account. It becomes more suspicious when the EFF is the only party that defends VBS. All this reinforces the perception that the EFF was a recipient of the money looted from VBS.”

Readers will note that VBS is the same bank which bailed out President Zuma when he apparently “paid back the money” and thus the question springs to mind, did the disgraced former president cut a deal with certain members of the opposition ranks, in particular the head of the former ANCYL, in effect ‘settling the matter’ to the mutual enrichment of all concerned? The scandal has massive implications for SA society, and far-reaching consequences for rural development, see Richard Poplak.

Meanwhile, opposition politicians from Venezuala, where the inflation rate has topped 1 million percent, arrived in the country to warn South Africans of the dangers of adopting far-left policies which follow the example of the Chavistas. Many are former leftists disgruntled with the manner in which statism has eroded individual freedom alongside property-rights.

“We have to draw some parallels with what’s happening in SA. The corruption, this state capture you call it here. In Venezuela, it’s the norm. It’s the only way they can preserve power. It’s a kleptocracy,” records the Daily Maverick.

“South Africa’s “extreme left-winger” policy of land reform suggested it was following Venezuela’s example. “They say let’s take back the land to the people, in this abstract manner. It was the same speech in Venezuela about the factories.” Yet not a single factory which the state took over was ever given to the workers.”

The debacle of politicians taking money while selling out the masses, appears to have its corollary in journalists allowing themselves to be mislead in order to adopt a party-political line.

Thus the revelations that the Sunday Times front page was for sale was a major blow for readers expecting quality journalism. The story is not a new one, having broken in 2016, when the paper issued an apology, stating it had got certain things wrong about the SARS rogue unit, but as it turned out, the latest round of skinner involved a story about a death squad.

See Sunday Times editor Bongani Siqoko admitted that there was no Cato Manor “death squad” and that Booysen, Dramat and Sibiya were wronged.


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