ANC succesion: The bigger picture

The succession battle for the presidency of the ANC is on. “Hoax e-mails” implicating President Thabo Mbeki and key persons in the ANC leadership conspiring against party deputy president Jacob Zuma forced “Project Avani”, as the “hoax e-mails” are otherwise known, into the public domain. Meanwhile, a whole system in South Africa agreed to make out Zuma as a “rapist and fraudster”. The line-up of individuals, organisations and institutions against the ANC deputy president is exhausting. They include the judiciary, big business, media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and that “civil society”, intensely rolled out to make sure that Zuma is perceived to be found guilty of rape and fraud. This has been going on for a few years now. That massive campaign to demonise a political leader and public figure is similar to the vicious campaign in South Africa against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF. South Africa started its campaign against Mugabe back in 1999. Such vendettas are rolled out on many levels. The level of sophistication is high and is, therefore, not understood by all. In this first part, it would be appropriate to bring Dr Alexander von Paleske’s findings to the readers’ attention. Those could shed some light. Dr von Paleske is the head of the Department of Oncology at the Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, and former barrister-at-law at the High Court in Frankfurt, Germany. Moreover, he is an environmentalist. Von Paleske explains one important development in South Africa’s “Jacob Zuma Saga”. He documents it under the title, “Bulelani Ngcuka and his Apartheid Soldiers”, dated on 25 February 2006, with the sub-heading: “Bulelani Ngcuka’s shameful business connections with former colonial-apartheid soldiers Jan Breytenbach, Steyn Fourie and Willy Ward”. According to Dr von Paleske, “Bulelani Ngcuka, former boss of the National Prosecuting Authority (in South Africa) and husband of Deputy President of South Africa, Mrs Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, continues to work together with former apartheid Special Forces soldiers Jan Breytenbach, Steyn Fourie and Willy Ward. “All three are working together in a consortium that plans to turn the wetlands of Sedgefield at (South Africa’s) Garden Route into retirement homes for the rich and famous, thereby destroying the fragile ecosystem of the lakes nearby.” Dr von Paleske continues: “Jan Breytenbach, who seems to be now one of the spokespersons for the Amabubesi Trust (Amabubesi Project Management), major shareholder in the planned estate and Willy Ward, manager of the estate, have quite a bit of luggage (baggage) from the apartheid past to carry.” (Col. J.D.) “Breytenbach was the founder of three of (colonial) apartheid South Africa’s most brutal and horrific units: 32 (Buffalo) Battalion, 44 Parachute Brigade and the Reconnaissance Commandos (Recce). The 32 Buffalo Battalion, at times under his command, invaded and largely destroyed Southern Angola in the 70s and 80s.” Dr. von Paleske writes on: “The 44 Parachute Brigade under Breytenbach’s command massacred close to 1000 refugees and freedom fighters in the SWAPO-camp Cassinga in Southern Angola (in) 1978. The Reconnaissance Commandos, of which Fourie and Ward were members, were nothing else but murder and destruction gangs. Their trail of murderous destruction in Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania and Botswana is beyond belief. In 1985 and 1986 they came on a killing spree to Botswana, a country, that was not at war with South Africa, and massacred 14 civilians, including a pregnant mother and a six year old child, in Gaborone, thereafter blowing up the houses. On my initiative the files have been reopened now and arrests can be expected anytime from now.” The Head of the Department of Oncology of the Princess Marina Hospital, Dr. von Paleske adds a long list of brutal atrocities that Willy Ward had committed in Mozambique and quotes the author Peter Stiff in his book: “Silent War 1999”, page 254. In fact, Dr. von Paleske published a more detailed version of this report on the internet: It was copied in the “Knysna-Plett Herald” newspaper. “Willy Ward was a group leader of a Recce commando, that operated illegally in Mozambique. Under his command the Recce gang killed government soldiers, hung up the dead bodies at a fence as a trap and put explosives on the way, so that people, who wanted to collect the dead and bury them, were blown up (see Peter Stiff, Silent War 1999, page 254). What a sick mind must somebody have, to do things like that.” The article accuses further: “Breytenbach, Ward and Fourie show no remorse and no regret. Says Breytenbach in his most recent book ‘The Buffalo Soldiers’, that was published in 2002 about the massacre in Cassinga/Angola, “I was privileged to be the commander” (Buffalo Soldiers p. 209). He calls freedom fighters “terrorists” (p. 117) or “gang members” (p. 192). He describes the invasion of Angola as a “brilliant operation” (p.123) and says, that it was an honour for him, to command such men (meaning the mercenaries and destruction gang of the 32 Buffalo Battalion) forward of Buffalo soldiers. Finally in an interview with the ‘Port Elizabeth Herald’ in October 2005 both, Breytenbach and Ward, declared, that they have no regrets about anything, because they did it for (apartheid) South Africa. “Comrade” (Bulelani) Ngcuka knows only too well about the horrific background of his colleagues, however for him it does not matter. This is a big scandal, nothing else,” Dr. von Paleske ends. When Judge Willem Hefer, was appointed to hear the case against Durban businessman Shabir Shaik and then deputy president Jacob Zuma for alleged “fraud and corruption”, Bulelani Ngcuka was head of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA). The first hearing took place in Bloemfontein. During South Africa’s colonial-apartheid era Judge Hefer was notorious as “hanging judge”, hanging those, who refused to show respect for apartheid laws. Ngcuka was accused of having been an apartheid-agent. However, Judge Hefer found, “on the information presented, I can’t find Mr. Bulelani Ngcuka guilty of being a former apartheid-agent”, cleverly covering himself. Another illustrious judge was appointed, when the case was transferred to Durban. His name, Hilary Squires. Retired Judge Squires served as Judge under Ian Douglas Smith in UDI Rhodesia and later as Minister of Justice, also under Smith. Both above judges have their baggage and seemingly have scores to settle. Meanwhile, everyone eagerly awaits forthcoming attractions in the “Zuma case”.

April 2006
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