‘Guptas are bit players’: Zuma political advisor

 ·18 Apr 2016

President Jacob Zuma’s political advisor, Vuso Shabalala, believes that that Guptas are ‘bit players’ in the ‘democracy dividend’, as the old establishment benefitted ‘obscenely more’.

Since 1994, the ‘old establishment’ has steadily been chipping away at the power of the ANC-led government, Shabalala wrote in an opinion piece published on politicsweb.

“For reasons out of scope it is only in the last couple of years that they have begun to breach the armour around democratic forces through brazen lies and innuendo directed at the ANC and its leaders based on scraps of fact.”

He said that the suspension of radical transformation cut the black middle strata loose to begin to largely accommodate themselves in the embrace of the ‘old establishment’.

“With all their ostentatious noise, the Guptas are bit players even in the section of the new black bourgeoisie to benefit from the ‘democracy dividend’. Indeed the Old Establishment has benefitted obscenely more.”

Banks vs Guptas

Shabalala said that the decision by the country’s banks to close the Gupta family’s accounts was a “political stunt”.

“It sends an unequivocal message about who is in power in SA today; who determines what the state may or may not do,” he wrote.

The move had nothing to do with morality or the banks protecting their reputations.

“Ordinarily, such brazen display of power, by banking oligopolies especially, would be met by fierce resistance by democratic forces as it rightly should. But the Guptas are no ordinary mortals, of course, depending on your vantage point.”

Shabalala said it was the banks and their “most treasured clients” who showed strong resistance to the implementation of some laws.

He said the fight against corruption was being used against a government which was building institutions to promote good governance.

When the ANC-led government identified and prosecuted corruption, these cases were used to discredit the government.

He said Cosatu had participated in the formation of Corruption Watch and its former general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, was leading the “spirited and well-resourced campaign” to overthrow the ANC government.

He said Vavi had called on the banks to dissociate themselves from the Guptas.

Shabalala said the status quo was doomed and could not be reformed. The only question was whether the “Old Establishment” would willingly promote radical socio-economic transformation.

“The idea that ‘democratic regime change’ will save SA, belongs to Sterkfontein [a mental institution].

“What will save SA in the medium term requires the realisation that economic apartheid must end,” he said.

With News24

More on SA banks

SA banks acted independently against the Guptas: report

Another major SA bank closes its doors to Gupta company

Absa cuts ties with Gupta’s Oakbay company: report

KPMG cuts ties with Gupta family

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