Hawks find evidence of sabotage of ANC launch
RECRIMINATIONS continue in the African National Congress (ANC), following poor attendance at its manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth last weekend. ANC Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane made light of the issue, attributing low turnout to transport complications, balmy weather, and the attractiveness of nearby beaches. But the ANC’s elections team, headed by Nomvula Mokonyane, refused to believe that poor organisation, leadership corruption and the virtual absence of Eastern Cape politicians in national government explained local disaffection.
ANC insiders hinted that the low turnout resulted from efforts to embarrass President Jacob Zuma or local mayor, Danny Jordaan. Now an explosive secret dossier from the reputable Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) provides compelling evidence that the event was “sabotaged”.
Invites for the launch were apparently sent out through the South African Post Office. “Why,” the Hawks dossier asks, “would invitations be sent out through the post office, when everyone knows they could not possibly arrive at the right addresses and in time for the event?”
Detectives found clues that “capitalist hegemony” had undermined ANC transport logistics. They cited Mabuyane’s complaint that bus drivers “demanded a 50% upfront payment due to their previous experiences with (ANC) nonpayment”. “It is neoliberal ideology,” claimed the Hawks’ new monopoly capitalism unit, “that leads bus companies to expect payment, even for patriotic services.”
The report also supported the ANC Women’s League’s recent claims that financial institutions “are biased towards their imperialist masters”.
“I came to Port Elizabeth to hear the powerful people who actually run the country,” one unhappy crowd member told the Hawks. “Thanks to the banks, they went to Dubai instead.”
The Hawks insist that recently recruited party members from KwaZulu-Natal, bombarded by the media with anti-Zuma propaganda, were too dispirited to join ANC celebrations. Instead, they threatened to form a breakaway party (rumoured provisionally to be named the Inkatha Freedom Party) if any attempt was made to recall Zuma.
Many taxis, the Hawks probe found, were unavailable on the day. Investigators discovered that taxi bosses have signed lucrative long-term contracts to ferry millions of unsold copies of The New Age newspaper to the Koedoeskloof waste disposal site in Uitenhage at weekends.
Detectives also questioned why Independent Newspapers boss Iqbal Survé was not on the podium: “If Dr Survé had been there,” the dossier notes, “pictures of the event would have been splashed across their front pages all week.”
The Hawks’ forensic team alleged that “foreign intelligence agents” had penetrated Luthuli House’s merchandising division. Referring to the thick blue lines across the Top Six’s yellow ANC golf shirts, Hawks fashion consultants claimed: “Men with a low centre of gravity like Mr (Gwede) Mantashe should never wear horizontal stripes. It is suspicious when struggle leaders’ shirts make them look like giant bumblebees.”
Hinting at the identity of one possible conspirator in the turnout fiasco, detectives observed that “no McDonald’s beef burgers or fries were distributed in the stadium”. They quoted one national executive committee member as follows: “Comrade Cyril (Ramaphosa) does not understand why we voted for him at Mangaung. We are sick of all these chicken legs.”
Top Hawks investigators described as “further irrefutable proof of sabotage” the fact that a rented train, intended to ferry thousands of ANC supporters to Port Elizabeth, was left stranded in Gauteng. A spokesman for the Passenger Rail Agency of SA told investigators there were “definitely signs of foul play … Someone has made the tracks the wrong size for our new trains.”
• Butler teaches public policy at the University of Cape Town