De Beer: GNU – The rocky pillar is… the ANC

The nation has lived through another week of alliance and dis-alliance politics in South Africa. In this interview with BizNews, Neil de Beer, President of the United Independent Movement, warns that “the biggest and largest instability within the GNU” is the African National Congress (ANC) that has cracked into three factions: that of President Cyril Ramaphosa, that of Vice-President Paul Mashatile, and the faction made up of the allies of President Jacob Zuma, whose MK Party is now the “real” opposition in Parliament. “The sentence you are now going to hear more and more in Parliament, more and more in this country from this RET and revolutionary faction is ‘Sell Out. Sell Outs’. And this…is what is going to be the make and break of the further split of the so-called mighty – but fallen – African National Congress.” De Beer also describes how the recent youth revolution in Kenya has “blown over here, not physically, but mentally” with people starting to say “be careful because if you continue selling out the country’s revolution of the fight against poverty, that Kenya and what happened there does not come here”. De Beer further gives his take on the collapse of coalition talks between the ANC and the Democratic Alliance (ANC) in Gauteng. He also gives a performance preview of some of the newly-appointed Ministers.

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Highlights from the interview

In a dynamic interview with Chris Steyn, Neil De Beer, president of the United Independent Movement, delved into the intricate political landscape of South Africa and beyond. Covering a span of topics from local party strategies to global geopolitical shifts, De Beer highlighted significant developments and potential impacts.

He emphasized the Democratic Alliance’s pivotal decision to move to opposition benches, foreseeing potential challenges for governance in affected metros. De Beer discussed internal rifts within the African National Congress (ANC), pointing to factional tensions involving figures like Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma, which he believes threaten stability.

Beyond South Africa, De Beer drew parallels with global events, notably the youth-driven protests in Kenya against economic policies, leading to President Ruto retracting controversial tax proposals under public pressure. He connected these international movements to broader trends, including shifts in US and European politics, foreseeing implications for South Africa.

Reflecting on the need for national dialogue akin to past Truth and Reconciliation Commission efforts, De Beer underscored the unresolved legacy of apartheid and the ongoing challenges of reconciliation in South Africa’s political discourse.

Extended transcript of the interview ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

00:00:11:14 – 00:00:25:17 Chris Steyn The nation has lived through the reality of another week of alliance and non-alliance politics. Let’s speak to Neil de Beer, the president of the United Independent Movement. Welcome, Neil.

00:00:25:19 – 00:00:37:12 Neil De Beer Ja, Chris, a very good morning, and to what I can call the BizNews family. What a morning to say, go Bokke, go Bokke, go Bokke.

00:00:37:14 – 00:00:38:16 Chris Steyn National pride.

00:00:38:21 – 00:01:12:06 Neil De Beer Yeah, great to start a weekend, Chris, without, for once, the downy drains of darkest politics and to have a glimmer of a bit of great sunshine, light of a national team that won yesterday. But a shocker to the SABC, who, in my opinion, to a cowardly note, yesterday morning only, announced to this country that they will not be broadcasting our Springbok team’s game.

00:01:12:08 – 00:01:46:23 Neil De Beer And I found it absolutely sad and shocking. No matter the consequence or discussions of money, this is a unifier. Die Springbokke maak ons een. The national team unifies this country more than any politician or party can. So I just wanted to say my Black Sheep of the Week is undoubtedly the SABC, who got it wrong because we, as a country, need any kind of good news or glimmer of hope.

00:01:47:00 – 00:02:09:18 Neil De Beer And can you imagine thousands of people getting their Ulofberg, their choppie ready to go and watch this game because they can’t afford DSTV or they can’t afford the tickets at the game. They planned their life around this huge occasion and they were let down. So I thought I’d just say that it is not the right thing and I hope that we can change that in the future.

00:02:09:20 – 00:02:29:08 Chris Steyn Well, maybe Gayton, our new Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, can do something about that. Neil, sorry to take you from a winning team to the composition of the Cabinet of the Government of National Unity. What do you make of those ministerial appointments?

00:02:29:10 – 00:02:45:07 Neil De Beer Chris, the problem that you’ve got is too many chefs. I mean, this is a cliché. We have a combined minister and deputy minister portfolio grouping of 75 people.

00:02:45:09 – 00:03:24:03 Neil De Beer You know what is astonishing? It’s 32 ministers and 43 deputy ministers. We now see major parties in the GNU, the GNU, who actually made one of their policy voting platform discussions the size of the cabinet. The mere statement that they said that we are going to half the cabinet or we’re going to cut the cabinet, and now they sit there, part of that bloated cabinet, is absolutely to me ridiculous and hypocritical.

00:03:24:05 – 00:04:07:02 Neil De Beer The other problem is, I don’t know if you know it, but after analyzing this cabinet, is it also not shocking to know that out of these 75 ministers, 41 of them have been charged? And out of the 41 that actually faced charges criminally, 12 of them are still ongoing cases. So not only do you have this colorful rainbow size of a cabinet, but some of them are charged with being criminals.

00:04:07:04 – 00:04:37:12 Neil De Beer So that’s the one thing that makes me frown. I mean, you just saw the absolute hypocritical manner in which the ANC continually speaks about renewal, about change, about throttling corruption. Zizi Kodwa falls on his own sword, gets hoisted by his own petard, goes to court, gets charged, and then walks into parliament the next week merrily and takes an oath of office to uphold the constitution.

00:04:37:13 – 00:05:12:03 Neil De Beer Just that one person, that’s ridiculous. So no, this is not a good news story on many of these people who are sitting in that bloated chair. But what is more the problem, Chris, is that we’ve rehashed some of the old, where we had an opportunity to now cut out the dying roots and we just brought them back. So there are certain of these ministries that I’d like to focus on and tell you what is the critical 100-day forward. And some of them, they’re not just utterly ridiculous.

00:05:12:21 – 00:05:33:10 Neil De Beer I mean, let’s start with a pinnacle, you know, because I always look at the Safety Security Cluster first. We have Angie Motshekga that’s moved from a dismally failing Basic Education ministry where we got the so-called 30 percent. That was an absolute disaster, no matter how she wants to paint the zebra. And she moves over now to the Minister of Defense.

00:05:33:22 – 00:06:00:21
Neil De Beer
Now, when she was asked what kind of knowledge and expertise she has in Defense, her statement was that she doesn’t need to have it because she’s not going to go fight in the bush. She’s not a soldier. Now, that statement on its own sends shivers down my spine because if she did that to 30% Basic Education, is she going to say that she’s only going to get a 30% hit rate on protecting this country?

00:06:00:23 – 00:06:29:12
Neil De Beer
So that is the naivety of the debate where I told you before I would prefer not in all, but on the critical algorithm points of this country, Defense, Police, Health, Education, Infrastructure, and Finance, that we get people in those positions because that is what I call the critical backbone of a nation. So here we go, we take a Minister of Education that failed, she failed, and you take that person to Defense, which currently is a failure.

00:06:29:14 – 00:06:52:18
Neil De Beer
Now, why am I saying it? Because there are people in the Defense Force who talk to me. I come from there. It’s not a good news story. We have soldiers currently deployed in foreign countries that are dying. And I’m telling you, one of them told me clear and I won’t tell you his name. It’s my right. But a shocking story that they were deployed without the support of food, the support of air wing power, and the support of basic logistics, but we deployed them.

00:06:52:20 – 00:07:23:03
Neil De Beer
So we need a strong minister that understands that scenario of when you deploy a military, you cannot deploy without support. Secondly, the military veterans of this country have sat for 30 years also in a department that has failed. They’re not being registered. The actual registration and recognition of military veterans in this country are not happening on the so-called database, and therefore they’re not getting their benefits.

Read more: De Beer: GNU – The End Game

00:07:23:05 – 00:07:53:17
Neil De Beer
So the reason I mentioned this is because now you see the depth of knowledge that you should have to go and sort out the Department of Defense. The second one is maybe a story of hope. Senzo, the new Minister of Police, might not have police experience, but, Chris, he comes from other departments where he was a minister, where I might say he actually did well. His stint within the Water Sanitation portfolio, the Public Works scenario. He is a worker. Now, I think that should give us hope that he’s actually a person who thinks. They call him a thinker.

00:07:23:05 – 00:07:53:17
Neil De Beer
He’s actually a person that thinks it through, goes into the motion, and he’s not scared of getting his hands dirty. So there’s a glimmer of hope. The other one where I did say there might be a little bit of hope within the Ministry of Defence is the Deputy Minister, interestingly, is General Bantu Holomisa. So I hope that General Holomisa, who is a person that comes from the military, in the past with Transkei, he actually went to Military Academy.

00:08:50:04 – 00:09:22:14
Neil De Beer
So he’s not an appointed person that got a medal in a bush. He’s actually a qualified person that understands defense. So the hope there is that Angie Motshekga will lean on him to get some of that knowledge and experience to buffer that scenario of the ill knowledge that she has. The other one Chris is that I think we did the right move in keeping the same minister, Enoch Godongwana, in Finance. And I think the markets, I think the world did not react negatively to that.

00:09:22:14 – 00:09:44:13
Neil De Beer
So that was a good thing. It was a stabilizer at the end of the day. The new minister of education coming from the DA. I have hope, you know, the unions might not, but I see within her aptitude, she has that attitude. I’ve worked with her at the MPC and I think she’s quite an intelligent, quite a robust person.

00:09:44:15 – 00:10:12:00
Neil De Beer
So I look there and then finally, might I tell you one of the things we really needed. Also a good news story is Dr. Leon Schreiber going into Home Affairs, I think knowing Leon, he’s already taking steps. He’s an educated man. He is a principled person within sorting matters that he gets given on the table. So the character Leon, put that aside,

00:10:12:01 – 00:10:34:14
Neil De Beer
I’m not a person that is knowledgeable about the man, the character, but I’m just talking about how he takes on a matter like he did in the MPC. So he’s the new minister. I see he’s already made some pronouncements. And I hope there is something that comes good of it because, Chris, we cannot continue with the current scenario of the foreign-based problem that we’ve got in this country.

00:10:34:14 – 00:11:01:01
Neil De Beer
So there’s a couple of things that I see are in the light. Gayton Mackenzie, Minister of Sports, saw him jumping up and down yesterday in the stadium. He’s got character. Like or don’t like him, that matters not. Is he going to perform in the Ministry of Sports, Arts, and Culture? I’m telling you, and I might swallow my words, but here it comes.

00:11:01:03 – 00:11:23:06
Neil De Beer
I think he’s going to do well. I think he’s got character, he’s got passion. Forget about Gayton, the past. I think Gayton might do just well in that scenario. And for the rest, Chris, we have to sit back and we have to watch for the 100-day outcome. And that’s important what is expected in the first 100 days.

00:11:23:08 – 00:11:29:14
Chris Steyn
Quite, Neil. Meanwhile, it has been a disastrous week for Alliance politics in Gauteng.

00:11:29:16 – 00:12:01:22
Neil De Beer
Yeah, the killing fields. I made a statement, I think this week that went viral, when I said you can only imagine these citizens, not just of Gauteng which is basically spread over your three nucleus areas which is Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni whom all three are in a current, sorry, state of disaster. You just have to drive through Tshwane

00:12:02:00 – 00:12:35:11
Neil De Beer
Pretoria. You just have to go through Johannesburg and approach Ekhurhuleni. You have to actually sit there, look at it and say: how the gold has rubbished. How our unbelievably iconic cities of the past have absolutely degenerated and have become, sorry, a rubbish dump and mess. There’s no other way to say it. So we can’t color this. We have huge challenges.

00:12:35:13 – 00:12:59:01
Neil De Beer
I had the privilege about two months ago to meet the new mayor, Cilliers Brink of Tshwane. So when leaving him after having a good cup of coffee with him, I don’t know why, but I got into the lift and I walked out and I went, there’s hope for Tshwane. There’s hope. No matter the unbelievable hill that he has to climb, his spirit and his attitude, I was absolutely saying, here’s a glimmer of hope.

00:12:59:01 – 00:13:28:17
Neil De Beer
And then you go to the mayor of Joburg. And then the only thing you need to say is, what the hell? I mean, it’s like, huh? Who is he? Where is he? What is he? And when was he? And you can actually see, sorry, when you take mayors that I know, like Geordon Hill-Lewis or Cilliers Brink that I know personally,

00:13:28:19 – 00:13:56:04
Neil De Beer
and you have to equate that to this gentleman. Dismal failure. Nee, daar’s nie hoop nie. I’m sorry, within him, I don’t see a future. So, we were hoping that with the huge amount of votes on the opposition side, no matter whom they are, against the ANC rule, that we would be able to remove Lesufi once and for all because he is a walking disaster.

00:13:56:14 – 00:14:22:02
Neil De Beer
And the voters spoke, Chris, in Gauteng, the voters got up and they said, no, no, get rid of them. But they didn’t get a majority and neither did the ANC. But their hope was that we could turn it around by balancing out the equity within the seats. So there we thought that within the Government of National Unity, we would have change.

00:14:22:04 – 00:14:43:04
Neil De Beer
There we have it. But that it would filter down to the GPU, the Government of Provincial Unity. And so did the loggerheads and fighting and discussions and debates continue, Helen Zille coming to the forefront, Lesufi and that absolute irritating little person who is like a buzzing bee that’s at the wrong place. Nothing wrong with bees. They create honey,

00:14:43:04 – 00:15:25:18
Neil De Beer
This one not. Fikile Mbalula, who just continually buzzes in, creates this wave of disparity and then you got a loggerhead position, Chris, and there you are. Lesufi coming to the point, having to postpone the announcement twice of his MECs. And then at the last end does a long protracted television broadcast with Fikile and him. And while they’re sitting there, by the way, I don’t know if you saw it, I watched it. And as they were finished, the one reporter gets up and says, so how are you going to run this province without the DA?

00:15:25:19 – 00:15:46:20
Neil De Beer
And Lesufi says, No, we’ve not closed the door. We are still waiting for them to come back so that at nine o’clock I can mention my cabinet. And then the guy says, no, it’s over. We just got the press release from the DA. He didn’t know. While he was standing at the microphone talking about how they still want inclusivity, how they want the DA to come on board,

00:15:46:22 – 00:16:16:15
Neil De Beer
the DA releases the press release to say they have decided to go to the opposition benches. When they did that, a shiver came down on me because I, in myself, have representation in one of the metros there. And I went, there we are, five years under a rule of what we had. I am saddened to the fact that those cities, that province is going to fail dismally. If they don’t, hurrah. But I don’t have much hope.

00:16:16:17 – 00:16:18:03
Neil De Beer
But I don’t have much hope.

00:16:18:05 – 00:16:25:14
Chris Steyn
Neil what is happening inside the ANC at the moment behind the scenes. He seems to be in fighting and disparity.

00:16:25:15 – 00:16:45:03
Neil De Beer
Oh, the cracks are there. I think the cracks are now becoming so obvious. I think that anybody that comes there is shocked, not surprised. So your problem, Chris, is not going to be the continual discussion of the DA, the Freedom Front, the IFP. I think those things are going to settle and they’re going to do what they need to do.

00:16:45:05 – 00:17:28:13
Neil De Beer
I think the one that is the biggest and largest instability within the GNU are not those partners. It’s the ANC. So, you cannot deny that there is the CRU faction, there is undoubtedly the Paul Mashatile faction, and now this under-righted, bubbling factionalism of the influence of that person who just doesn’t want to go away, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Msholozi Zuma. And that person has a massive influence in the ANC. You can’t deny that.

00:17:28:15 – 00:17:59:17
Neil De Beer
So here you’ve got the people backing the president and having to keep the president in power. Because the alternative will for them be an absolute annihilation of their process. Paul Mashatile sitting there as Vice President but under the gaze and the loom of apparent charges that are coming. And then you sit there with the people within the ANC who said that they have surrendered the Struggle.

Read more: DE BEER: The GNU – Racism, Factionalism & Power

00:17:59:18 – 00:18:37:07
Neil De Beer
And this new sentence, Chris, here we will announce it now. Watch the space. Like in many things we have predicted, here it comes. The sentence you are now going to hear more and more in Parliament, more and more in this country from this RET and revolutionary faction is Sell Out. Sell outs. And this sell-out propaganda, that new cliché, is what is going to be the make and break of the further split of the so-called mighty but fallen African National Congress.

00:18:37:09 – 00:18:46:17
Chris Steyn
And we’re looking at an increasingly strong opposition in the Economic Freedom Fighters and former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party. Are we not, Neil?

00:18:46:17 – 00:19:21:16
Neil De Beer
Well, well, Chris, here’s the thing and take it as the verbage that I will put on the table. We’ve actually not had a revolutionary, rude and hugely negative opposition in the past 30 years. Am I, I think I’m correct. The opposition that we’ve had, being the DA for most of the time, have not been people that are feisty, revolutionary, rude and attacking.

00:19:21:18 – 00:19:55:03
Neil De Beer
They have been the majority of people that were orators. They could speak well, chirp well. You could go from the lines of Mmusi Maimane, the broken president, the broken country, even to John Steenhuisen, the way that they can speak and orate. But they are not rude people. They are not people that gaffe you or people that can fire verbal missiles that are across the road and actually deploy and cause damage.

00:19:55:05 – 00:20:59:11
Neil De Beer
That changed. This has changed in the seventh government of this republic. You are now going to have an absolute opposite of an attitude of opposition because actually, fundamentally, Chris, the new opposition of this republic and in parliament is no other than MK. Now when you take on the MK animal and you put that in opposition with its loud cheffing, rather annoying and jealous side nephew, the EFF, you are going to see a barrage of choir, all of them getting together in one major song of sell out, traitor, White minority capital, the Madame Stooge, and they going to take that as their reference every day.

00:20:59:11 – 00:21:11:16
Neil De Beer: We are going to see a total different atmosphere, attitude, and discussion-based revolution in that parliament. It’s going to be something to watch.

00:21:11:21 – 00:21:19:17
Chris Steyn: Talking about discussion, another former president, Thabo Mbeki, has called for a National Dialogue. What can that achieve, Neil?

00:21:19:21 – 00:21:58:01
Neil De Beer: Well, I’m not surprised and may I say to you the National Dialogue that’s called, no matter who called it, obviously that will now be also focused on has Thabo Mkeki called it and there will now be a political nuance and a clutter of mystified agenda and stuff. But no, I agree. I actually agree, Chris. And why do I agree that a National Dialogue which should consist of our clergy, our faith-based organizations, our NGOs and people that come from, can I call it community?

00:21:58:03 – 00:22:32:10
Neil De Beer: And may I say why? The TRC failed. That’s it. And I was part of that process. It failed. The intention of the TRC was great. The Waarheid en Versoenings Commission. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I tell you right now, being a person that was part of that process, that it failed. And where did it fail? We only got to the T. That’s it. We only got to the truth.

00:22:36:22 – 00:23:08:14
Neil De Beer: So help me God. Not all the truth though. But the truth that was delivered at the TRC hearings was shocking enough. Now what happened there, Chris, was we were supposed to bring the truth out and then bring reconciliation. And I am sorry, I am open to debate, we never got to the R. This country never reconciled.

00:23:08:16 – 00:23:38:23
Neil De Beer: Those governments, the ANC, the National Party, they left the reconciliation part up to us, Citizen X, the normal person, ek myself. Did they really think that a flag could go down and a flag could go up after one of the most unbelievably dark histories of this country in this continent and that we would just get on with it?

00:23:39:01 – 00:24:06:20
Neil De Beer: Well, Chris, we are a miracle because we kind of did. We didn’t have mass slaughter on Civil War. White did not attack and Black did not come and murder. We’ve had our few uprisings. But in general, come now, this country has gotten on with it. It’s the politicians in this country who do not want that reconciliation to be seamless.

00:24:06:22 – 00:24:37:19
Neil De Beer: And they are the people that brought us back to racial-based politics. Absolutely there. The white and black. So I would support wholeheartedly a scenario where we could have a National Dialogue of this true state of the nation and where are we going in the next three decades. And I would implore people to get involved so that we could say this is a national audit of the morality, the dignity and the future of this country.

00:24:37:22 – 00:24:38:22
Neil De Beer: Absolutely.

00:24:39:00 – 00:24:53:07
Chris Steyn: Right. Neil, may we go to Kenya where an uprising forced that government to back down? Now, many pro-revolutionaries in this country feel inspired by what happened there. Have you picked up on that too?

Read more: De Beer on the power-hungry scramble for SA & the ports of KZN

00:24:53:09 – 00:24:54:13
Neil De Beer: Well, having been—

00:24:54:15 – 00:25:00:03
Chris Steyn: There are people who feel that that revolution is probably for them the only option here.

00:25:00:05 – 00:25:27:12
Neil De Beer: We closely monitored it. I have experience in Nairobi, Kenya. I’ve been there a couple of times. I worked on certain projects there, especially after some of the faith-based attacks, which they called faith-based attacks there of Al-Shabaab and ISIS, etc. I was in actual fact called at that stage in my private capacity to give opinion. Kenya has been a country,

00:25:27:12 – 00:25:58:20
Neil De Beer: may I say, that has an economic good story, where that country grew economically and in actual fact became a diamond in the rough. And obviously hugely supported by the United States of America. I think you know the relationship Osama Bin Laden, that period brought in a scenario of where there was some fundamentalism growing within the African diaspora.

00:25:58:22 – 00:26:39:12
Neil De Beer: And then we had Barack Obama visiting Kenya. I think you remember he came there. It was a huge scenario. West backing Kenya. But it also raised certain eyebrows as to what he would do within the African continent, having that faith, that religious so-called war being brought to the African continent. But in general, may I tell you that the citizens of Kenya are a very peaceful country. They are not a revolutionary country where there is a continued diaspora war.

00:26:39:14 – 00:27:17:09
Neil De Beer: So, what happened in the past four weeks under President Ruto, based on what he tabled in the new Financial Bill of 2024, bringing up taxes, caused a massive youth revolution. It turned sad when from riotous behavior, they started burning even up to parliament and I saw live rounds being used and people dying. That’s spilled over here, not physically, but mentally.

00:27:17:11 – 00:27:42:00
Neil De Beer: And yes, you are right. People were starting to say, even in our social media terminology, be careful because if you continue selling out the country’s revolution of the fight against poverty, what happened in Kenya may happen here. Now that was based on the previous scenario of what we called the overthrowing of the Arab Spring.

00:27:42:00 – 00:28:09:20
Neil De Beer: If you could remember, several African countries were toppled in the past. So yeah, it raised an eyebrow and I said watch that, keep clear and see what happens, and I see now, two days ago, the president actually capitulated and struck that Bill off the table. So, yes, at times when you have such a united force, make no mistake, it has a huge bearing on government.

00:28:09:22 – 00:28:31:12
Neil De Beer: But I believe that we have taken the pressure cooker off and we’ve got to get back to business for the 100-day plan. Also, in the US, remember geopolitics has a big impact on us, on this country. It might not now, but it will come—the US in November going to the polls with the Biden and Trump scenario.

00:28:31:14 – 00:28:58:09
Neil De Beer: Biden not doing well. In actual fact, a lot of people are saying that he is not going to make it. And obviously Trump being Trump, the barrage of insults and bombshells. And then lastly, what a great sudden change with a snap election called in the United Kingdom and Rishi Sunak gone. Yeah, a new Labour government coming into charge.

00:28:58:09 – 00:29:26:07
Neil De Beer: And what a change in the UK. UK, done. France, currently today, second poll. Definitely Macron is in massive trouble because Le Pen from the conservative scenario, like so many European countries now, Chris, heading to the right, going conservative. And that outcome is expected today, just before the Olympic Games.

00:29:26:07 – 00:29:38:06
Neil De Beer: So, world politics now coming to take a bit of a front seat and our politics now having to go from front stage to bloody work. En hulle moet nou begin werk.

00:29:38:08 – 00:29:54:05
Chris Steyn: Thank you, Neil. That was Neil de Beer, the president of the United Independent Movement, taking BizNews viewers through another dramatic week of alliance and disalliance politics in South Africa. Thank you, Neil, and I am Chris Steyn.

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