The captured media’s connivance with the Zuptoid-siphoning KPMG

Veteran journalist Ed Herbst

JOHANNESBURG — Aiding and abetting evil, first corporates leech onto the crazy Zuptoid money-generating mill and then various media houses, all with taxpayer-stolen funds, churn out false news designed to maintain the snouting status-quo. Here veteran journalist and self-made media expert, Ed Herbst, reminds us of just how complicit sections of the media were in discrediting honourable, decent SARS employees in the mould of their former leader, Pravin Gordhan. He gives concrete examples of outrageously false news that trashes the basic principles of decent journalism. With not even the excuse of struggle ideals standing up to the most basic scrutiny anymore (Independent Newspapers and ANN7), what Herbst outlines here can only be described as propaganda and complicity in sustaining State capture. When an editor of a national Sunday newspaper hangs out socially, and even publicly, with a convicted criminal Zuptoid with links to the Zuma empire, it’s time for journalists to get worried. The arrogance is simply astonishing, as are the crude attempts to manufacture and purvey Zuptoid propaganda on a daily basis. Corrupt connection to illicit cash flows fuels this journalistic perversion whose masquerade as some kind of struggle championing the rights of the downtrodden became grossly obvious years ago. – Chris Bateman

By Ed Herbst*

While copies of the draft report were only handed to a few key people it appears that there has been no investigation as to how it was leaked or it found its way into the hands of Sunday Times reporters. The question, of course, that still begs answering is in whose interests is it that the report was leaked. Considering that almost the entire SARS senior executive was suspended after the stories had appeared in the Sunday Times and that the mandate of the Sikhakhane panel was altered to include the media reports, it would appear to have benefitted those who support Moyane. – Marianne Thamm Daily Maverick 13/3/2016

Moyane brushed off criticism of the Sikhakhane and Kroon investigations. Sikhakhane’s investigation was rubbished as misleading on both the facts and the law and Kroon’s board only investigated Sikhakhane’s report. Neither team interviewed those alleged to have participated. Moyane also avoided questions of his own culpability or the culpability of SARS in the KPMG investigation.

He admitted, however, that he gave a copy of the KPMG report to the Hawks, who ramped up their investigation of Gordhan shortly after the report’s completion. – Greg Nicholson Daily Maverick 18/9/2017


It was one of those cathartic, high-five, schadenfreude moments last experienced when the news broke that those Zuptoid facilitators and ethnic hate propagators, Bell Pottinger had gone to the wall.

This time it was the joyful news that nine senior executives had slimed and slithered their way out of the KPMG back door having used the fire escape stairs and the admission that its Rogue unit report was fatally flawed.

Former new finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

As Pravin Gordhan said:

“KPMG had no basis‚ except subservience to a malicious SARS management‚ to malign a number of individuals and facilitate the capture of a vital state institution.”

This was a pointed reference to deployed cadre Tom (Slippery) Moyane who says he regards Duduzane Zuma as family, and against whom Corruption Watch has laid criminal charges.

On his watch, a once-trusted and respected organisation finds itself in disarray and is accused of being extraordinarily generous to the Gupzumas as Die Burger now calls them.

Tom Moyane, who has had a lot of derogatory things to say about Pravin Gordhan in the past, has swiftly condemned KPMG’s mea culpa but, outside of the Saxonwold Snouters, non-Guptured South Africans will be wishing Gordhan well and would donate generously to any crowd funding initiative that would see the Zuptoid facilitators at SARS behind bars.

One of the cornerstones of African National Congress snouting policy is the realisation that this morning’s corruption scandal is quickly forgotten as it is overtaken by this afternoon’s and the public drowns in the foetid maelstrom that constitutes its Tsunami of Sleaze.

What has already been forgotten is the immensely damaging effect that the attempted Gupture of SARS by the Zuptoids via the KPMG ‘Rogue unit’ report, had on the Sunday Times.

I am still bewildered by the lemming-rush of its now-disbanded investigative team towards the abyss.

What I struggled to comprehend at the time was this team’s abrogation of the age-old journalism verity of ‘When in doubt – leave out’.

Rogue unit bordello

This, with specific reference to the bordello supposedly being run by the ‘Rogue unit’.

As I wrote at the time:

I remember reading the Sunday Times article about the ‘rogue unit’ at SARS running a brothel with a sense of disquiet, in part because it made no sense to me. Using such a business as a means of honey trap intelligence gathering would seem to offer little measurable benefit but the risk of exposure would be huge. That story was carried on 9 November last year (2014) and no proof has been provided of the bordello’s existence – what its address was, why it only operated in Durban and not in other cities, who worked there, how many worked there, who its patrons were, how the employees were recruited, what they charged, whether they were local women or had come from abroad, whether they were registered with SWEAT, how the brothel managed to escape police raids and avoid the complaints of neighbours and, above all, whether it was tax compliant.

Surely the Sunday Times followed up this obvious angle and can provide such information? It is obligated to do so because its article implies an unconscionable exploitation of women by a state organisation which answers to a political party that claims to promote and protect the rights of women – particularly those who are the most vulnerable.

Like a Cape Times or Cape Argus or Sunday Independent Fake News front page lead, the SARS brothel claim was devoid of truth.

SARSIn an interview with the SABC, Adrian Lackay told of how the KPMG slimeballs had never interviewed people like himself who were named in its ‘Rogue unit’ report and had resolutely, through their lawyers, refused Lackay’s request for an opportunity to refute the Gupta-linked KPMG lies.

It is significant that Tom (Shifty) Moyane was willing to pay R23 million for this now-withdrawn report which was used to oust Pravin Gordhan – it is, after all, only tax payers’ money.

Showing how the ANC constantly apes the Stratcom tactics of the apartheid-era security police, more than 30 false stories were leaked to the Sunday Times in two years.

Strangely enough, Moyane never seemed to find it necessary to investigate the origin of these leaks which started after he commissioned the now-withdrawn KPMG report in December 2014.

Fake News

This was Fake News par excellence and the newspaper was forced to apologise to Gordhan after an excoriating finding by the SA Press Council. The incumbent editor, Phylicia Oppelt, was moved sideways.

Unsurprisingly, we were then subjected to Tom (Shady) Moyane’s hyperventilating accusations of defamation but, a year and a half later, nothing further has been heard of his litigation threat against the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism and the Mail & Guardian.

His chances of success in this endeavour seem to have diminished somewhat given the subsequent revelations in the Gupta-leaks emails.

The damage South Africa has suffered as a consequence of State Gupture has been enormous and it has not been confined to the odious endeavours of KPMG. The Bell Pottinger White Monopoly Capital hate speech mantra lives on, enthusiastically endorsed and promoted by our aspiring president, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her acolytes like Dr Iqbal Survé, his employee Steve Motale and Motale’s friend Kenny Kunene.

As Hogarth pointed out in the Sunday Times, so close is the friendship between Surve’s editor of the Sunday Independent, Steve Motale (who has made an extraordinarily rapid recovery from alleged ‘stress’), that he accompanied Kunene to court wearing a matching suit.

We now hear, via a front page lead in the Sunday Times, that  former convict Kunene has become so close to potential convict, President Jacob Zuma, that he is being lined up for a R5 billion BEE deal with a Russian oil company. Nothing unusual there – is this not similar to what happened in the Foxwhelp/Kaprikat scandal? This is how the ANC rolls.

Inevitably there are the victims – the innocents whose lives have been irreparably damaged by the heinous media campaigns of the Fake News propagators. People like Adrian Lackay and Johann van Loggerenberg. People like Chad de Matos who, innocent of any crime, found himself incarcerated in one of the world’s most dangerous prisons, Pollsmoor and vilified on social media because of the lies propagated in the Survé-owned newspaper, the Cape Times. And now we have Nhlanhla Radebe and a woman who had go to court to protect her reputation from a similarly-nefarious Kenny Kunene media campaign – as nefarious as the Cape Times lie that Western Cape wine farmers were deliberately causing widespread foetal alcohol syndrome in the children of their employees.

Nothing like this happened during the apartheid era and our KPMG schadenfreude moment will provide only momentary comfort.

ANC-linked rot

Let us not, however, forget the seminal role that Afrikaans journalists in particular have played, for example in uncovering the ANC-linked rot at Prasa where Pieter-Louis Myburgh blew the opposition newspapers out of the water. Another example: the singular role that Erika Gibson played in revealing the ANC’s predictable evil in facilitating the escape of its revered friend and ally, Omar al-Bashir while simultaneously lying in court.

Some sections of the media, but not all – the INMSA newspapers played no role of consequence in uncovering the pervasive ANC-linked Prasa corruption – will keep us informed about these unfolding travails.

As Esmaré Weideman, CEO of Media 24 points out while citing numerous examples, exemplary journalism continually and constantly manifests itself. In an ANC-created world of corruption, indolence and incompetence, which is an investigative journalist’s paradise, this should not be surprising but, in a Bell Pottinger/KPMG world, it is heartening and laudable nevertheless.

Having failed at Tlokwe and more recently in KZN the ANC, with these trial runs behind it, looks forward to 2019 and the Robben Island ferry is emblematic of our future.

Under such circumstances the exemplary role played by the Naspers and TMG newspapers and the Mail & Guardian will become increasingly important as a counter to the Fake News propagators.

The role of Tom Moyane in the KPMG Fake News ‘Rogue unit’ report demands – and will receive – further investigation.

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