Helen Zille. Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Helen Zille. Picture: Eugene Coetzee

There is a telltale phrase in Michael McLaggan’s "Zille’s Error of Logic (Letters, September 23-29) that shows he misses my point about the media’s treatment of the ANC. In defending the media, he argues that it has, indeed, "noticed the bad side of the governing party".

That actually underscores my point. Most media reporting flows from the assumption that there is a "good" and a "bad" ANC. The "good ANC", led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is (mainly) given a free pass, while everyone else is a legitimate target.

A letter is too short to present all the evidence, so just three points:

  • State capture has been successfully pinned on Jacob Zuma. Cadre deployment is the key mechanism of state capture. As deputy president, Ramaphosa chaired the ANC’s cadre deployment committee, the minutes of which are veiled in secrecy. So he is equally complicit in the state capture project.
  • When he appeared before the Zondo commission, Ramaphosa stated under oath that the deployment committee had discussed deployments to the judiciary. At the end of his testimony, he pleaded with acting chief justice Raymond Zondo not to declare cadre deployment unconstitutional. The only possible conclusion is that Ramaphosa’s "good ANC" wants to continue the state capture project.
  • During the ANC’s succession battle, Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign raised about R500m (some from companies known to have been involved in corruption) to win over a mere 4,000 delegates. Until evidence is produced to the contrary, I do not believe this money was innocently spent on "meetings, busing people, feeding people and having T-shirts and caps", as the president claims. CR17 has resisted all requests to open its books, while the rest of us have to declare every single donation we receive, down to the last sandwich.

In the latest candidate registration debacle, far from "peddling a conspiracy" about the judiciary "that turned out to be baseless", my prediction was vindicated. The Constitutional Court judgment enabled the election to be postponed, the electoral commission to reissue a timetable, and the ANC to get a second shot at registering its candidates. Exactly as I predicted.

If McLaggan thinks the comprehensive state capture project targeted every institution except the judiciary, he is in for a rude awakening. The Judicial Service Commission (which nominates judges for appointment) was one of the first institutional targets of state capture when the ANC ensured that it comprised a majority of its deployees. I witnessed it first-hand, when I was an ex officio member of the commission (as Western Cape premier).

I have no doubt history will prove me right. But by then it will be too late.

Helen Zille
DA federal council chair

The FM welcomes concise letters from readers. They can be sent to fmmail@fm.co.za

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