Speech by the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba MP, during the VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE Debate in the National Assembly

10 November 2016

Here we are again for a 05th frivolous attempt by the opposition since 2014 to win by stealth and cunning battles they had lost on the ground.

What makes a mockery of this are the reasons provided for this new gimmick.

The so-called "state capture" has become the most recent Trojan horse inside which the DA Spartans have hid in their new spurious attempt to waylay democracy.

It would seem that anything would have passed for this debate today; that the DA was waiting for any excuse to bring to the House this motion so that we assist them and participate in their denigration of the President and the ANC.

For people who claim to respect democracy, the judiciary, rule of law and fairness to act in this fashion which demonstrates, on the contrary, their disdain for these fundamental Constitutional principles and values which our nation holds so dear betrays their disingenuity.

In its own statement, the ANC has welcomed the erstwhile Public Protector's Report, noted the seriousness of the issues it dealt with and welcomed its recommendations, whilst noting that they are inconclusive and contain no binding findings conferring guilt on any party, but rather calls for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into allegations of improper relationships and involvement of private interests in the running of the affairs of the State.

Furthermore, the ANC said that it supports, as a matter of principle, the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry, however due regard must be given to the Constitutional prescripts that guide the establishment of such Commission.

If the opposition believed in fairness and the rule of law, they would have welcomed the Public Protector's Report in toto and instead of jumping the gun to call for a no confidence vote in the President, on the basis of an inconclusive report, they should have waited patiently for the Commission of Inquiry and what it will find.

However, the fact of the matter is that such patience does not exist among those eager to dispose of the ANC in order to defend racial privilege and supremacy.

The truth is that there is a bitter struggle in South Africa between the former oppressors and those whom they had oppressed, for the right and power to determine the political direction of this country as well as the ownership of its economic resources.

When the Anglo-Boer ended in 1902, the Brits in particular and whites in general had secured more than the monopoly of electoral power; they had also secured for themselves the monopoly of political power and property ownership, included in which was the right to make black labour cheap and to exploit it without prohibitions.

Throughout its existence, the system of white supremacy had been predicated on this very notion that in order to plunder South Africa's natural resources, the white minority had to have the exclusive monopoly of political power in its hands.

The end of the apartheid system constituted the horror of horrors for the racialist political and economic establishment as it elevated the native, long kept at his place as the political underclass and beasts of burden, to political power where they could begin dismantling the system of racial supremacy, occupy the civil service and change the laws and systems that had oppressed them and start systematically to change both the structure of economic ownership and production.

Accordingly, the fight today, as it was in the past and will be tomorrow, is not merely a fight about the person of President Zuma, whilst it may ostensibly seem so, but it is ultimately about the ultimate control of the economic fortunes of this country and her political destiny.

These self-appointed 'defenders of the Constitution and rule of law', in and out of this House, fail the fundamental test of their own claims and assertions.

Ultimately, the true test of one's commitment to a particular principle is not your willingness to respect it insofar as it applies to you or your friends, but rather when dealing with your opponents.

So on this basis alone, this motion is clearly spurious, and should therefore not be supported.

However, Lenin warns us that:

"People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises."

At best, this motion is merely about political point scoring, but at worst, it is characteristic of the abhorrent ploys by the global empire and their local political hoodlums under guises of good governance and defending the Constitution and the rule of law to steal political power in order to defend, protect and advance their exclusive economic interests.

The CIA used this strategy in Iran in 1951 following a decision by the then Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh to nationalise Iranian oil, thus taking it away from a British company that was exploiting it and the Iranian people.

According to John Perkins, author of "The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman", Britain enlisted the assistance of the US, their ally, and "Instead of sending in the Marines, therefore, Washington dispatched CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt (Theodore's grandson). He performed brilliantly, winning people over and through payoffs and threats. He then enlisted them to organise a series of street riots and violent demonstrations, which created the impression that Mossadegh was unpopular and inept. In the end, Mossadegh went down and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. The pro-American Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi became the unchallenged dictator."

Certainly, Iran was not to be the only and final country to experience such foreign interventions with the support of local actors; this is also the story of Panama, Ecuador, Iraq, of Libya and Zimbabwe closer to home.

The modus operandi remains the same, driven by a cartel of global governments, local politicians, big global and domestic capital and corporations.

At its heart, this is about the commercial interests of the rich and powerful who control the media and pay off local political actors, journalists and others in pursuit of their depraved agenda.

For years the opposition has adopted a strategy of personalized fixation and attacks focused on President Zuma, aimed at demonizing him and rendering him unpopular, portraying his leadership of our country as inept, corrupt-ridden, irrational, irresponsible and reckless.

This was precisely the argument made earlier today when this farcical motion was tabled.

Mossadegh's crime in Iran was to reclaim their oil; Torijos' crime in Panama was to reclaim the Panama Canal, Roldos's crime in Ecuador was to defend their oil, and so were the crimes of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam Husein in Iraq.

In our case, our extensive mineral wealth, BRICS and the prospective nuclear power station in South Africa lie at the heart of the regime-change offensive we are subjected to.

Accepting this agenda and not opposing it to the very death will be our biggest folly.

As one member of the Cuban Five said during their trial in the US, refusing to cower and cringe in front of the imperialist repressive machine, so we too repeat after him that:
"Here, on this soil, we stand with our robust souls!"

There will be no retreat; there will be no surrender from us!

The ANC prosecutes an historic mission to forge a united, democratic, non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous society.

While the DA pays lip service to poverty, unemployment and inequality, we know these conditions intimately because our people have lived in them for centuries, condemned to their brutality by the system of racial tyranny of which the DA today is the most ardent defender and single-minded promoter.

For 104 years, our movement has struggled to overturn these conditions, concentrated as they are on black people in general, and Africans in particular.

The ANC has deployed Comrade Jacob Zuma as President to lead the implementation of a programme in government which will overcome these conditions.

It is under President Zuma's leadership that,

  • the National Development Plan was drafted and adopted;
  • the National Health Insurance is being piloted;
  • a new HIV and AIDS programme was developed, giving a real chance to long productive life to those living with HIV and AIDS;
  • this country unveiled the largest infrastructure roll-out in its history;
  • focus was changed towards rural development and has spearheaded a radical land reform programme;
  • we now have two new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga;
  • Further Education and Training Colleges have been restructured, their profile raised and billions of rand of investment made to improve their infrastructure;
  • the NSFAS has been increased to over R10bn in 2016/17, and the children of poor parents and the "missing middle" earning less than R600m will continue to receive financial support from government;
  • a bold capital expenditure expansion was announced by State-Owned Companies reflecting the expansionary outlook of this government towards economic investments;
  • the first female AU Commission Chairperson in its 50 years of existence was elected;
  • the energy challenge was resolved and nine-point plan for economic recovery developed.

These are the issues our political class should be focusing on.

South Africans would be better served by an opposition that seeks to improve existing initiatives, or offers compelling alternatives, rather than sitting back - free of the responsibility to govern - plotting ways to win news cycles and score political points.

Working together, with all South Africans who are committed to taking positive steps to improve our economy and society, we will move South Africa forward.

Our country's politics today is too divided and polarised, driven by racial-commercial interests.

We need to unite our nation because these divisions are not good for all of us, especially during these difficult economic times.

The future of our Republic hangs by a thread; poverty, inequality and joblessness weaken all of us collectively; nobody benefits from their perpetuation.

Our country cries out for a leadership that will unite us, bridge the gaps, restore our hope in the future and point us ever forward towards the promise of a better life in a national democratic society where all shall enjoy their fundamental rights as equals.

We hear the call of our people for a good, visionary, uniting, ethical, transparent and accountable leadership that places the interests of the nation ahead of their own.

We know that there are many mistakes we commit as leadership in the course of pursuing our people's interests.

This democracy is young, and so we learn by doing.

What we do not do right, we are determined to correct as we continue to learn how to better lead and serve our people in their very own best interests.

Finally, let me refer you to a conversation between a Buddha who was interrupted by a man during a lecture with a flood of abuse.

When the man finished, the Buddha asked him:

"If a man offered a gift to another, but the gift was declined, to whom would the gift belong to?

To the one who offered it, said the man.

Then, said the Buddha, I decline to accept your abuse and request you to keep it for yourself."

This is our message to our opposition today: we decline to accept your abuse and request you to keep it for yourselves.

We will oppose this vote, not because, as we have said it, we take lightly the issues of corruption, integrity and transparency, but because we cannot join the regime change and economic plunder campaign of your global and domestic

You may be their puppets, but we are not!

I thank you.