[Marxism] ANC govt terrified of music, says Hugh Masekela [?!?!]
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 10 14:57:19 MDT 2007
Walter Lippmann wrote:
> The ANC had the support of the masses of black
> South Africans, but they weren't militarily strong enough to
> defeat the apartheid regime in armed combat.
Well, they could have mobilized the masses to oppose the capitalist
class and push for deep structural reforms. But clearly they preferred
to join the capitalist class and oppose reforms.
The Guardian (London)
April 22, 1999
Black heroes sell out to capitalism;
South Africa's liberation veterans stand accused of lining their pockets
Chris McGreal in Johannesburg
The directors of South Africa's largest black-run company were forced to
abandon a plan to pay themselves millions of pounds in bonuses hours
before a shareholders' meeting yesterday.
The scheme by four of the most prominent names in South African business
and politics has caused uproar, raising questions about whether black
economic empowerment is creating opportunities for the
long-disadvantaged majority or simply building a black bourgeoisie
trying to become as rich as the old white establishment.
Former freedom fighters and militant unionists who spent decades
struggling to topple South African capitalism have become instant
millionaires as the directors of new black-run companies or white-owned
firms keen to get a few black faces on the board.
Trade unions, the Communist Party and a slew of other organisations that
once campaigned for the nationalisation of the gold mines and other
'commanding heights' of the economy have joined the scramble to buy into
But critics say black-owned firms treat workers little better than the
white companies that financed apartheid.
Criticism has focused on the four directors - three black, one white -
of New African Investments Limited (Nail). They planned to ask
shareholders to grant them share options worth pounds 13m, which would
have put about pounds 2m in the pockets of each.
The black directors are Nthato Motlana, President Nelson Mandela's
former doctor; Zwelakhe Sisulu, son of the former African National
Congress leader Walter Sisulu; and Dikgang Moseneke, the former head of
the militant Pan Africanist Congress.
Shareholders accused the directors of misleading them in Nail's annual
report, which said the company, and not the directors, owned the share
options. Nail's directors were not available for comment.
But the amount the directors planned to give themselves has caused the
most anger. Although Nail has been built from nothing into a pounds 1bn
conglomerate of holdings from financial services to the media, its share
price fell last year by 45% amid a general collapse in South African stocks.
There have also been questions about Nail's financial structure.
Jenny Cargill, a director of BusinessMap, an investment analyst company
that has produced the most comprehensive study to date of black
empowerment companies, is critical of the directors.
'It's an extraordinary amount of money,' she said. 'On what basis should
it go to the executive directors and not the shareholders?
'Nail has a responsibility as a black empowerment company partly because
Motlana used the fact that he knows Mandela to get funds.
'They used their political contacts to build their business in order to
gain access to assets. That puts them in a different position to your
Since the end of white rule, businesses have been keen not only to
recruit blacks as directors but to see that influential blacks have a
stake in the economic system. The problem was how to make capitalists
out of people with no capital.
With an eye on the new political reality, banks lent to blacks. White
firms stumped up money to get black enterprises off the ground in return
for non -voting shares. The directors of the more successful new
companies swiftly became rich.
Among the wealthiest is Cyril Ramaphosa, the former mining union leader
who resigned as the ANC's secretary general in 1996 to join Nail. He
made millions of pounds before he was forced out this year amid a bitter
He was the source of the leak to the press which embarrassed the
remaining directors into dropping their attempt to claim the share options.
Mr Ramaphosa's former deputy in the miners' union, Marcel Golding, went
on to found the Mineworkers Investment Company, where he is reported to
have earned pounds 800,000 in share options for arranging a merger with
'Everybody focuses on the millions I make,' he said. 'It is a
substantial amount of money but it was generated because I risked my own
money to create the company.
'Two years ago it was worth 350m rand ( pounds 35m). Now it is worth
'No one talks about the fact that we are probably going to make 300m
rand for the unions from a primary investment of 3m from the
The unions themselves have joined the scramble. They say globalisation
has greatly reduced their power to obtain high wages and better condi
tions, and investment is another way to fund improvements for their
members, through education bursaries and housing loans.
But there have been problems. They borrowed heavily to invest and last
year decided to sell some of their assets to reduce the cost of debt
repayment. Their plans, however, were foiled when a sharp drop in the
Johannesburg stock market meant it did not make financial sense to sell.
Some unions have run into conflicts of interest. The largest union
investment company, belonging to a major transport union, has invested
in South Africa's transport industries, raising the bizarre possibility
of the union negotiating with itself over pay and conditions.
And some union members have criticised investments in the country's
flourishing casino and gambling industry, which is seen as profiting
from the false hopes of the poor.
Furthermore, black owners do not necessarily mean a better deal for workers.
When a former Robben Island prisoner, Mzi Khumalo, took over a major
company, JCI, he was asked whether he would be sympathetic to the unions.
'I have spoken to the unions at JCI and made it clear: we are here to
run a business. I'm not for any of this brotherhood stuff," he said.
Instead JCI shed hundreds of jobs. It collapsed a few months later.
Mr Khumalo is still worth several million rand.
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