The martyrdom of Moyane and Duduzane: What's really going on?
There's a wider game being played out and the SA public needs to stay on high alert
Congratulations South Africa, you have been gifted two new martyrs.
In the past week, there has been an almost biblical transfiguration before our eyes. Tom Moyane and Duduzane Zuma went from being active participants and enablers of state capture to people who have been ill-treated by the establishment and deserve our sympathy.
On Monday, Moyane “hosted” a media briefing, ostensibly to present his side of the story on his suspension and the allegations of wilful mismanagement of the South African Revenue Service, some of which were aired at the Nugent commission of inquiry into governance at the tax authority.
But Moyane sat in serene silence like the patron saint of dodginess while his lawyer Eric Mabuza conjured up his victimhood.According to Mabuza, Moyane is victim of “trial by media”, specifically journalists who have “personal grudges” against him.
In the midst of the current onslaught against the media, and the argument presented by the Economic Freedom Fighters that Moyane was facing “double jeopardy” through his disciplinary process running concurrently with the Nugent inquiry, the performance was aimed at evoking public sympathy.
Moyane would maintain a “dignified silence”, said Mabuza, and in any event, they already had President Cyril Ramaphosa on his knees.
Apparently Ramaphosa simply responding to Moyane’s letter requesting that the president halt either the Nugent inquiry or his disciplinary inquiry chaired by advocate Azhar Bham SC was construed as the president having “blinked”.
Ramaphosa undertook to do neither, and simply said in response to Mabuza’s letter that he “would like the benefit of Adv Bham’s views on the matter before making a decision on your client’s demands”.
But his silent backers know that, based on the Bell Pottinger experience in South Africa, people are easy to bait and manipulate.
The proof of this was the metamorphosis of Duduzane Zuma into a victim of the state’s heavy-handedness at a time when his family is in mourning.The tragic death of 25-year-old Vusi Zuma, former president Jacob Zuma’s son, necessitated his elder brother returning to the country from Dubai to attend his funeral. Duduzane has been sought by the authorities on several matters, including prosecution for culpable homicide for the death of Phumzile Dube in a 2014 car crash.
The Hawks have up to now been unclear about the status of their investigations into Duduzane’s involvement in state capture. Eight people have already appeared in court for corruption and fraud in the Estina dairy farm project in what the previous head of the Hawks Yolisa Matakata called “phase one” of the investigation. She would not say at the time whether Duduzane was a suspect in this matter.
On Monday, Duduzane appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court on a charge of corruption, with an alternative charge of conspiracy to commit corruption.This related to the alleged attempt by the Guptas to bribe former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas in 2015, when they wanted to promote him to Finance minister. It is alleged that Duduzane facilitated the meeting between Ajay Gupta and Jonas, and that the bribe offer was made in his and businessman Fana Hlongwane’s presence.
The fly in the ointment in this case is that Jonas has not reported this matter to the police. He made a statement to former public protector Thuli Madonsela during her investigation into state capture.
So what information is the police acting on?
If the police and National Prosecuting Authority are serious about the state capture investigations, should they not have taken Duduzane in for questioning on the series of matters in which he is implicated?Could he not also assist the authorities in determining the whereabouts of his business partners, the Guptas, who are fugitives from the law?
What then was the purpose of the theatre around his court appearance, with the added drama of him having to walk to and from the dock in shackles?
Can this case really be taken to trial without the main accused: Ajay Gupta?
Or could the purpose of charging Duduzane on this matter be to deliberately botch the case to cast doubt on the state capture allegations?
South Africans have been played for fools before, so it must be asked whether there are deliberate attempts to do it again.We have been told that Moyane is being treated unfairly by the state but it is still unclear how. Duduzane’s appearance in court, in shackles, at a time his family is in mourning is also seen as inhumane and has prompted public condemnation.
The narrative is now centred on whether the jackboot tactics by the state are necessary rather than Duduzane’s alleged use of his father’s position to enable state capture and accumulate wealth.
But who is behind the attempts to sway public opinion – and to what end?
In the context of a consolidation of the fight-back campaign in the ANC against Ramaphosa, nothing should be seen in isolation.
The dots should continue to be joined.