REVELATIONS of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s temper tantrums, with a threat of armed aggression against the Republic, including a possible declaration of war, have come to light, after a judge ordered that President Ramaphosa’s affidavit on an ICC arrest warrant be made public this week.
The Gauteng High Court ordered that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s confidential affidavit related to an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin be made public by 2pm on Tuesday.
Constitutional and international law expert André Thomashausen was reported as saying President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s confidential affidavit is of a “very high quality” and speaks of the seriousness of the Russia/Ukraine conflict which is the biggest crisis since World War II.
The saucy affidavit, which was made public on Tuesday, claimed arresting President Vladimir Putin if he travelled to South Africa for the Brics summit in August would be a ‘declaration of war with Russia’. Putin has previously threatened to attack any nation which resists his efforts to crush Ukraine, with nuclear weapons, a threat already discounted by the West.
The president told the Pretoria High Court in Gauteng that South Africa ‘does not have the capacity nor appetite to wage war with Russia and Putin’, which begs the question as to who exactly our partners in BRICS are?
BRICS is the fanciful result of an acronym invented by an economist at Goldman Sachs, Jim O’Neill in his report, ‘Building Better Global Economic BRIC’.
Rock, paper, BRICS?
The informal group, much like the now defunct FAANG, is dominated by China, but added South Africa in 2010, with the resulting politicking and economic intrigues, tending to distract attention and energy from another more important, tangible bloc, the African Union.
BRICS member states include members with an autocracy, and even a one-party state where trade unions are banned, have increasingly sort to formalise their political and economic ties to compete with groups such as the G7 and western nations, despite major secular differences in approach to issues such as Gay marriage, minority rights and women.
As part of this neocolonial, brutal one-upmanship, dedollarisation alongside the introduction of a much-vaunted new BRICS currency backed by gold, has been mooted by Putin supporters, eager to escape Western sanctions.
Lavrov promotes ‘dedollarisation’ as if not having access to Western markets (which account for over 50% of South African trade), is somehow a positive move, and all that is required for Russia to succeed, is to avoid post-Bretton Woods financial institutions, while engaging currency unification talks with China?
Return of the Gold Standard?
Exactly where all the required gold lucre would come from to pay for the war, and who would pay for the storage of the hard asset in a system long-since abandoned, is unclear. The gold standard was abandoned in 1971 due to its ‘propensity for volatility, as well as the constraints it imposed on governments: by retaining a fixed exchange rate, ‘governments were hamstrung in engaging in expansionary policies to, for example, reduce unemployment during economic recessions’.
In a speech filled with sketchy ideological keynotes, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma speaking in Durban, attacked South Africa’s financial institutions whilst promoting the BRICS bank (and by implication, gold standard) as some kind of panacea for development financing.
The problem with this rhetoric is that gold itself is in reality, a non-productive asset, since it does not produce interest nor even dividends as such. Gold as a metal is historically favoured for its being inert, but in an era of bitcoin and crypto-currency, it is not entirely certain what role such an asset should play in our future?
Dlamini-Zuma claims without any proven research, “we need an alternative public banking and finance system beyond the dominant one, and we need it urgently. The New Development Bank is thus a step in the right direction, but we need to domesticate alternative banking as a matter of urgency.“
Banks are a mirage, what is Dlamini-Zuma talking about?
While banking institutions have certainly opened up in South Africa over the past years, with several new online banks, some with zero-fees, being given licenses, the so-called BRICS bank is already hobbled by the fact that it exists, like most banks, as a patron and client of the global financial system, which begs the question, in which world, would the new system reside?
The mirage of a separate banking reality, is seen by the fact that China itself, has had a policy of yuan devaluation for decades in order to promote exports and would find it extremely difficult to move towards a system in which it provided a physical asset such as gold for every yuan or Renmimbi printed.
Brazil on the other hand is heavily in debt to its eyeballs, and would certainly benefit from offloading its debt and banana economy onto poorer nations such as South Africa.
India is the only shining light so far as real economics is concerned, but most of this is the result of the ICT service sector, in which the West and Western markets play an enormous role. Apple Computer for example, just posted outstanding results for its India division, with the kind of numbers that political appointees such as Dlamini-Zuma tend to ignore.
South Africa which is blessed with a modern and open financial system, after decades of exchange controls, could do better than empty rhetoric, by focusing on the key element that has driven India’s surging economy, a digital growth strategy that presents a vastly different picture to that of China’s state corporations, many of whom, like China Rail, are running at a loss.
Admittedly, Chinese policy-driven expansion, where the party pulls the strings, has delivered remarkable engineering achievements, but it is also leading to gross dislocations of capital, as seen by the recent Evergreen property boom and bust.
Jim O’Neill’s unproven theory seemed like a good idea at the time.
BRICS may seem like a good idea, but its political impact as shown by Putin’s threats of war, and fallout from the West, shows it also has a lot of shortcomings. Indeed the ‘BRICS Bank’ has already demonstrated its unwillingness to fund member states such as Russia. And thus a lot of the takeaway points being thrown around by cuckold politicos on the left, are really meatless bones provided to the masses to gnaw on.
As delegates arrive in South Africa for the BRICS schmoozefest, attempting to show a unified face while dining on cream puffs, remember that efforts to expand the BRICS group in recent years, to include nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, both of whom practice gender apartheid, would lead to a paradox of shrinking influence for smaller states according to Patrick Bond. It has also resulted in the diminution of the AU as a focal point in our own backyard.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) thus went to court on Monday to compel Ramaphosa to share the Putin document” on a ‘mission of clarity regarding the ICC threat of arrest’. Ramaphosa had argued the contents could not be shared because he was prohibited from doing so due to international law that governs the workings of the International Criminal Court (ICC).