Guptas slammed as “plunder-preneurs” as divide in ANC’s alliance deepens

The deep divide within the ANC and its tripartite alliance is illustrated in the hard-hitting response by the SA Communist Party to criticism in Gupta Media. Apart from wording its disgust “the Guptas are not patriots….they’re parasites,” the SACP introduced a new phrase to describe what President Jacob Zuma’s friends have been engaged in – “plunder-preneuring”. This comes in the wake of a last ditch effort by Gupta mothership Oakbay to employ fading political clout and force South African banks to reopen its accounts. Zuma instructed three members of his cabinet to engage with the banks on the matter – an unprecedented step enthusiastically embraced but to no avail by Gupta-aligned mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane but ignored by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Equally instructive is the how another ANC-aligned media group, PIC-funded Independent, refused to run adverts booked by Oakbay to run in its newspapers. You can’t make this stuff up. – Alec Hogg

Cape Town – The South African Communist Party (SACP) criticised the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper for reporting that deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin was at odds with the party on its position regarding the top four banks blacklisting the Guptas’ business.

The May 3 story, titled “Cronin at odds with SACP on banks” was “nothing but a deliberate distortion of facts”, the SACP said in a statement on Wednesday.


It said Cronin had done “very well in representing (its) position and all other positions of the SACP without any contradiction”.

The statement SACP had given the New Age for the story was that “the Guptas and their supporters are, of course, trying to blame the banks, brokers and auditors for (their) situation”.

Oakbay Investments has roped in three cabinet ministers to engage with bank executives to reopen their accounts after they cut ties with the Gupta-owned company due to mounting pressure stemming from allegations of “state capture”.

The Guptas, who are close family friends with President Jacob Zuma, have been accused of selecting ministers for Zuma to appoint based on promises they will assist the Guptas in their business dealings.

The ANC said it would investigate claims of Gupta state capture after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor claimed the Guptas offered them ministerial roles. Former GCIS chief executive Themba Maseko claimed the Guptas demanded he meet them to ensure The New Age could get government advertising.

The SACP has called on the banks to make a full disclosure of the reasons for the decisions they have taken to terminate their relationship with the Guptas.

“These same banks, brokers and audit firms were very happy to be making money out of Gupta transactions for many years, for as long as they could get away with it. But the smash-and-grab, hit-and-run greed of the Guptas has become so reckless that the banks have been warned that they are exposing themselves to international sanctions and even to losing their local operating licences if they continue dealing with these parasites,” said the SACP on Wednesday.

“That’s the reason for what is happening – not some imperialist plot that those who are in bed with the Guptas claim. The Guptas are not patriotic, they are parasitic.”

“We can’t effectively deal with established monopoly capital, we can’t defend our South African national sovereignty in the face of an external imperialist agenda if the parasites inside our economy have weakened the South African Revenue Services, or undermined the developmental mandate of an Eskom, or an Armscor, or an SAA, through their plunder-preneuring activities.

“The struggle against corporate capture of our democratic state is a necessary struggle to defend our people, our democracy, our constitution in the face of imperialism and monopoly capital. It is not a question of supporting the Ruperts and Oppenheimers against the Guptas, or supporting the Guptas against the Ruperts and Oppenheimers. We have to fight capitalist exploitation in all its forms.”

The SACP said it made it clear to The New Age that it “is opposed to all forms of exploitation of workers by the Guptas. It is wrong for The New Age to exploit workers to justify the brazen smash-and-grab private accumulation agenda of the Guptas, to distort our content and try and sow divisions in the ranks of our movement.” – Fin24