Prof Piet Croukamp: ANC’s illogical Russian obsession – follow the money, honey

The ANC’s stubborn insistence on retaining its close friendship with Russia, which broke promises and the UN agreements by invading its democratic neighbour Ukraine, defies reason. The costs are rising. There has been a spat with the US’s Ambassador to the country; warnings from SA’s business community of doors closing; and a red flag from the SA Reserve Bank about the ruinous impact of capital outflows and potential sanctions. Despite this, the ANC refuses to change its irrational stance, defaulting to a claim that the country is ‘non-aligned’. Why? In an interview with Biznews, Professor Piet Croukamp from North-West University’s Business School prods us to ‘follow the money’ suggesting the answer may lie in Russia’s (potentially illegal) funding of the ANC. He spoke to Linda van Tilburg of BizNews.

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:36 – Prof Piet Croukamp on the ANC’s illogical fondness for Russia
  • 03:01 – Prof Croukamp on if the ANC is receiving Russian funding
  • 05:17 – On Viktor Vekselberg and other Russian oligarchs
  • 06:39 – On the legality of the ANC’s probable Russian financing
  • 09:35 – On Ramaphosa’s role in the ANC’s obsession with Russia
  • 12:18 – On the ANC and South Africa’s prospects come the 2024 election

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Excerpts from the interview

ANC went from heavily in debt to being cash-flushed

You will know in South Africa, any party that gets funding from overseas must declare it to the Independent Electoral Commission. Well, that money does not really explain why the ANC can suddenly pay all these bills. They must be some other sources of funding and it must come via some other avenues. It doesn’t come through the Independent Electoral Commission because if they add up all the money, it still doesn’t solve the ANC problem. Well, I think there is not only intelligent speculation. I know we can now trace it back to the relationship with Russia and specifically some oligarchs that do assist the ANC with money problems. 

Read more: Paranoid Putin is packing for Pretoria, but Russia has little to offer South Africa

Has Victor Vekselberg and other Russians given potentially illegal money to the ANC?

It is him [Viktor Vexxelburg]. There might be others too. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other ways in which the ANC got money. He is in the open. He was the one that paid the bill for the 55th Congress and he has made several donations to the ANC via the Independent Electoral Commission as well. He is extremely close to Vladimir Putin. So it’s just obvious if you map it, why his almost irrational support at massive risk to the South African economy, at massive risk to our car assembly plant in Pretoria and in Querberca? Why do they take the risk with this relatively successful part of foreign investment in the South African economy? It can only be because it serves the interests of the ANC as a party. You’ll remember that Ramaphosa has expressed his opinion about this very clearly in the past. He said that if I’m called an ineffective or inefficient or a bad president because I prefer to keep the ANC together, so be it. I think this is a manifestation of that policy. 

Read more: Ramaphosa stands firm: SA non-aligned in Russia-Ukraine conflict

Ramaphosa’s legacy: He sold us cheaply in defence of the ANC

In the same way that we associate Mbeki with the HIV AIDS policies and Zuma with state capture. This will be the legacy of Ramaphosa. First of all, he is absolutely too spineless to manage South Africa. Secondly, he really, really sold us cheaply in defence of his own political party for accepting funding from opportunistic sources. Just remember all these oligarchs got their money in corrupt ways. There are not many Bill Gates or Elon Musk. All of them are part of a corrupt practice, a form of state capture in Russia. Those are the people that we now have a relationship with at the expense of the South African economy. 

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