Ed Herbst: Russell Goreraza and how the ANC ‘Rolls’ Royces

Veteran journalist Ed Herbst

JOHANNESBURG — The ANC’s taste for the finer and faster things in life have regularly cast question marks over its commitment to its own socialist ideals. The ANC, though, also shares its desire for purchasing fast cars with that other ‘liberation struggle movement’, Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF. Ed Herbst, once again, brilliantly picks apart the ironies of these desires and shows how naked and greedy the ANC really is. – Gareth van Zyl

By Ed Herbst*

Durban – Socialite Shauwn Mpisane, who is facing multiple charges of fraud, ushered in 2014 by treating herself and her husband, Sbu, to identical Rolls-Royces. – Mpisanes splash out on matching Rolls-Royces News 24 5/1/2014

The vehicles were imported by Russell Goreraza – Mugabe’s eldest son‚ from her first marriage – and their arrival in the capital was greeted with a large celebration.

He has a reputation for living comfortably‚ as do his younger brothers Robert Jnr and Chatunga. – Grace Mugabe’s eldest son blows millions – report News 24 20/9/2017

The African National Congress regards Robert Mugabe as an African icon and will do anything it can to appease him – ask former President Thabo Mbeki who was often seen strolling hand in hand with him as part of his ‘Silent Diplomacy’ policy and who tried to bullshit South Africans into believing that the 2002 Zim elections weren’t rigged.

So it’s nice to know that we can occasionally show him the way and the light.

This refers to the importing of two Rolls Royce limos  costing R7 million by Russell Goreraza, Grace Mugabe’s son who has not held a job of any consequence since failing his school-leaving exams

When it comes to the purchase of Rolls Royces as a symbol of snouting success, however, the local ANC is way ahead of their game.

It’s an astonishing story and all part of the ANC’s ‘Good story to tell’.

So extraordinary, mind you, that even if you were a Hollywood scriptwriter of the Timothy Leary persuasion, nobody would buy this one because everyone has credulity limits.

So, when it comes to Russell Goreraza’s purchase of luxury cars using snouted money, I am reminded of a statement at a council meeting in 2009 when the DA speaker, Dirk Smit admonished a hapless ANC member who had, as usual, shown himself to be completely clueless on municipal governance.

Jy is ‘n politieke snuiter!

Snuiter could be loosely translated as novice and Russell Goreraza is a complete novice when it comes to Rolls Royce acquisition and the astonishing story of ANC member Sibusiso (S’bu) Mpisane is proof of that.

It’s a story that, to a remarkable extent, sums up the ANC – the ANC of Quatro, of the Shell House massacre, of 330 000 avoidable HIV-AIDS deaths, of Marikana, of unparalleled and unprecedented looting and decay, of the Esidimeni tragedy and tragedies still to come.

At the end of this article I will provide a hyperlink to another article on this subject but, for the moment, I will transcribe relevant passages from R W Johnson’s book How long will South Africa survive? The looming crisis because it is only by being well informed that we can understand the havoc that two decades of ANC corruption, incompetence, indolence and mismanagement has wrought.

Chapter 2

KwaZulu-Natal – The world of Jacob Zuma

On 21 June 1998 Sergeant Craig van Zyl, together with his partner, Solly Shozi, was driving down the esplanade of Durban’s Victoria Embankment towards Durban airport, where they were investigating a narcotics case. As they passed the imposing neo-Gothic building which houses the Durban High Court, Van Zyl noticed to his astonishment that five men just disgorged from a vehicle were armed with AK-47s and were moving towards the court. Van Zyl bravely challenged them, though he only had a handgun, and a shoot-out ensued, which was quickly joined by other members of the Durban police. Van Zyl himself was shot dead, as also were two bystanders; one of them an 80-year-old woman. Three of the attackers were arrested and another shot dead but two more escaped in a red BMW. Later, detectives found camera footage of the getaway car clearly showing that the driver was himself a policeman, Constable Sibusiso (S’bu) Mpisane.

Detectives quickly hypothesised that what they had interrupted was a murder attempt mounted by the notorious Umlazi taxi boss, Mandla Gcaba. South Africa’s black taxi business is one of the roughest in the world and those who rise to prominence within its frequent taxi wars are often passable imitations of Al Capone. Gcaba, one of the richest and most successful taxi bosses in the country, had a fearsome reputation as a man who relied on direct action and took few prisoners. This was all part of the taxi wars of the 1990s between the Gcaba and Sithole factions. Even back then, the police averred, ‘Every boss has his own hitman’, and assassinations of opposing bosses could cost anything between R100 000 and R1 million. Taxi bosses paid huge sums to the taxi associations and to the rank managers who ran the taxi ranks. ‘Anyone who questions what taxi bosses do with the money (they get) gets shot,’ the police said.

On this occasion the getaway driver, Constable Mpisane, was arrested and agreed to make a statement in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He confirmed that he had been driving the getaway car and that he had had prior knowledge of the murder attempt He said that Gcaba had ordered the attack and that he (Mpisane) had driven the two attackers he had rescued straight to Gcaba’s home; a luxury mansion in the upmarket resort of Zimbali, where he lived amongst fellow-tycoons on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. Gcaba and three others (including his brother, Royal Roma Gcaba) were arrested and charged with the murder of Van Zyl and two others.

Those who knew Mandla Gcaba could hardly believe that he would be made answerable to a court, and so it turned out. Everything depended on Mpisane’s testimony against Gcaba, but shortly before the trial Mpisane went missing and stayed missing. Even though the judge ordered a special delay in proceedings to enable the police to find him, this was fruitless. The court was left with no option but to acquit Gcaba and his friends. A year later Mpisane suddenly re-appeared at his old police job, claiming that he had been kidnapped, a story that was never verified. It suddenly emerged that – though still a humble constable in the Durban Metro police dog unit – he was now an immensely rich man. Even in Capone’s Chicago this would undoubtedly have led to an investigation and disciplinary action by the Chicago police. In ANC-ruled Durban (eThekwini), to whose city council the Metro police are responsible, there was no such investigation and the city manager, the ANC ultra-apparatchik Mike Sutcliffe, refused all comment on this apparent cover-up.

S’bu Mpisane and his wife, Shauwn – ‘Durban’s queen of bling’ as the local press loved to call her – became fabled figures in the life of the city. Though earning only R15 000 a month as a policeman, Mpisane bought a R17-million mansion in upmarket La Lucia; his wife also bought the house next door. Mpisane owned a Lamborghini and over 60 other cars and the couple exchanged Rolls-Royces as Christmas gifts to one another. They held frequent glittering parties at which all of Durban’s ANC notables were prominent guests, including Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Edward and Bheki Cele the burly ANC and Communist Party boss who became national police commissioner and always arrived at the Mpisane parties dressed in white suits with a rakish gangster trilby.

But let us not leave the story there. The scene is the Durban beachfront on the eve of the 2014 elections. On 2 May the beach lit up for a huge party thrown by S’bu and Shauwn Mpisane at a cost of some R1 million, all in honour of the ANC. There is Khulubuse Zuma, enormous in a scarlet suit with an SACP hat, improbably suggesting that he supports communist ideals. Champagne and expensive whiskies flow in copious amounts and large numbers of beautiful young women in short skirts and high heels pick their way across the sand. There, dancing in line with the socialites, models and soap opera stars, are Bheki Cele (in shorts) and sundry businessmen. Everywhere the yellow, black and green of the ANC. Shauwn Mpisane in gold-studded jeans. No one is keen to discuss the many and various charges levelled against the Mpisanes over S’bu’s role in the shootings on the Embankment, his wondrous resurrection since then, the long list of allegations against the way the Mpisanes have earned their enormous wealth through tenders from the Durban city council, or, indeed, exactly why Bheki Cele had to be fired as police commissioner. Shauwn is adamant that the party is not about ‘a certain person’ (Zuma) but about the ‘legacy that our forefathers left for us’.

But what were those revellers really celebrating?  Clearly, a degree of amnesia was an essential quality ,a belief that celebrity alone was quite enough to hold the law at bay, that pouring out money in such conspicuous and wasteful expenditure was perfectly acceptable in a country with 40 per cent unemployment, that ANC government was all about a small elite having the time of their lives. What these party-goers were happy about was that their patronage line had come to power. But what they were really celebrating, consciously or not, was the criminalisation of the South African state.

For further information read this Daily Maverick article.

But wait – there’s more.

In December 2014 Duduzane Zuma was found guilty of culpable homicide after his Porsche crashed into a taxi causing the death of two of its occupants.

The Porsche badge sits on a Porsche Cayenne GTS luxury automobile on display inside a Porsche AG showroom in Stuttgart, Germany. Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

After the accident he went home and only gave a statement to the Sandton police eight days later.

Shaun the Sheep has declined to take the matter further or to comment on the case.

Six months later, Russell Goreraza was fined the punitive sum of $800 after  also being found guilty of culpable homicide under similar circumstances

Businessman Russell Goreraza, 31, knocked down and killed a man while driving “at an excessive speed” in his BMW in Harare in February, SpotFM reported.

Both men have, since the fatal accidents in which they were involved, laughed all the way to bank.

In the meantime the Mugabe boys are shopping up a storm in New York while their father snoozes at the UN – the rich harvest of the ANC’s Silent Diplomacy policy on Zimbabwe.

That’s how the ANC ‘Rolls’.

Smuts Ngonyama summed it up when he said, after becoming a multi-millionaire overnight for having ‘facilitated a meeting’ …

… ‘I didn’t join the Struggle to remain poor.’

A sentiment with which Russell Goreraza and the Mpisanes would heartily concur.

  • Ed Herbst is a retired veteran journalist who writes in his own capacity.