The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
In the Sunday Times last weekend we were treated to a revisionist attempt by the ANC’s secretary general. Don’t blame Jacob Zuma, he entreated, Baba really wasn’t so bad. His timing sucks as you’ll see from a superbly well researched report published this week by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Entitled Nuclear Enrichment: Russia’s Ill-Fated Influence Campaign in South Africa, the 26 page report delivers a detailed analysis of the $76bn nuclear power deal Zuma tried to impose on his subjects. A plan stopped only by “SA’s institutional checks and balances, civil society groups, and independent media.”
The report by Carnegie’s Russia specialists Andrew Weiss and Eugene Rumer is a tour de force. They trace Zuma’s relationship with the Kremlin, explaining what motivated his Russian counterpart and exposing the duo’s poorly disguised plans. As you’d expect from Carnegie, the report is deeply referenced, including from testimony given to the Zondo Commission into State Capture.
On reflection, it’s greatest contribution is to remind us how close the young democracy came to permanent derailment by the greed of a politically powerful cabal. One which apparently hasn’t yet accepted defeat. But their cause was lost long ago. Because in the end, nothing is more powerful than the truth. Ever.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.