Maphatsoe’s CIA claims shrouded in mystery
Business Day, 12 Sep 2014
CONFUSION continues to surround accusations reportedly hurled at Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last weekend by Defence Deputy Minister and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Military Veterans’ Association chairman Kebby Maphatsoe.
According to a report in The Star, Mr Maphatsoe described Ms Madonsela as a “plant” by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who was bent on creating a “puppet regime” in SA. Mr Maphatsoe was speaking to MK veterans at the unveiling of a tombstone to commemorate a former combatant in Soweto.
“These chapter nine institutions,” Maphatsoe reportedly continued, “are now being used against us … If Advocate Thuli Madonsela feels more powerful and above the constitution, she should tell the country who her handlers are.”
In the days that followed, The Star’s owners explained that “as a result of cost-cutting, we no longer deploy actual reporters on the ground”.
“We therefore do not have any idea if Maphatsoe really said ‘CIA’.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the military veterans’ leader retracted his words and apologised for any offence they might have caused. In a further clarification, he then explained he had not in fact made any of the reported statements, a retraction he later withdrew. Sources close to Mr Maphatsoe then revealed that media speculation about a “CIA link” was a red herring. “Kebby had in mind another sinister organisation that is bent on world domination and installing a puppet regime: the African National Congress (ANC),” they said.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) quickly came out in support of Mr Maphatsoe’s clarified position. “The ANC is a bourgeois political party led by fat-cat capitalists,” an emotional SACP leader explained over a glass of red wine. “If it was not for the efforts of Cde Rob (Davies, the trade and industry minister), we would have a rapidly growing capitalist economy, rising cycles of investment and employment, and so huge amounts of worker exploitation … We only formed an alliance with the ANC because nobody would vote for us.”
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA likewise condemned attempts to link the public protector to the ANC. “Sections 9 and 11 of the Public Protector Act state that it is an offence to insult the public protector. Any person convicted in terms of the Public Protector Act is liable to a fine not exceeding R40,000 or to imprisonment.”
A spokesman for the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA concurred.
“The ANC is a shadowy organisation. Elements within that body are always peddling democracy and trying to impose human rights on rural women who don’t want them.”
Sources close to Mr Maphatsoe remain adamant that Ms Madonsela has a case to answer.
“The ANC was always a problem,” one MK catering corps veteran revealed. “Comrade Kebby was an excellent chef and looked after everyone very well in the camps. But these ANC people were always trying to get us involved in combat. No wonder we had to run away.”
There was a muted response from Luthuli House this week. Speaking through a translator, a spokesman in the secretary-general’s office, Mr Sum Ting Wong, confirmed that “yes, the ANC is an absolutely lousy organisation”. “That’s why we have sent them all to the Chinese party school for training while we take over the tenders.”
“What is the ANC?”, enquired a spokesman in the office of the ANC president, who gave his name only as “Vladimir”.
US ambassador to SA Patrick Gaspard, meanwhile rejected “baseless and offensive accusations” linking the CIA with the ANC. “The CIA has initiated nonconsensual human experiments, engaged in extraordinary rendition, employed inhumane interrogation techniques, and undertaken numerous assassinations and other targeted killings. But it is still shocking that it should be likened to an organisation like the ANC.”
Butler teaches politics at the University of Cape Town.