13 January 2022 in Dossier Laboratory South Africa, Geopolitics


Madiba’s dream is dead. For almost four years now, South Africa’s democratic system has been close to collapse. Poverty, disease, lack of education, lack of prospects, lack of jobs and lack of health care have created on the one hand a generation of cynical, arrogant and corrupt bureaucrats, and on the other a generation of desperate people who see crime and violence as their only chance of a better life. The judiciary and politics have lost all credibility, and the police themselves, largely incapable of maintaining order, are infiltrated by interest groups outside the state.

People are dying young in this new South Africa: of Covid, of AIDS, shot in the middle of the street, clubbed during anti-government riots, eliminated by firing squads of criminal gangs, but also of hunger and fear. President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government have never been able to tackle these problems, limiting themselves to declarations of principle and improvised measures, such as the introduction of prohibition for alcohol and cigarettes, which have only led to a rapid strengthening of the local mafias.

In this picture of horror, a criminal figure emerges who, paradoxically, is seen as a possible salvation by hundreds of thousands of people: the former president Jacob Zuma, head of the Msholozi ethnic group, a rich and powerful man, surrounded by even richer and even more powerful men, possible leader of the Zulu monarchy and even more possible founder of a new party that, within a few years, could replace the ANC at the helm of the country – by hook or by crook – and establish an anti-democratic regime based on terror, but also on the consent of a large part of the black population, especially that of his home province, KwaZulu-Natal.

The incredible parable of an opportunist

Half palace, half military fort: the Zuma family’s luxurious villa in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal[1]

On 14 February 2018, a year before the end of his term, the President of South Africa, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, was forced to resign. The list of charges against him is endless: rape, arms smuggling, fraud, corruption, theft, abuse of office. Over the last fifteen years, he has been repeatedly arrested, taken to court, and then released – no matter whether on conviction or acquittal[2]. All this, until that February 2018, has never threatened his political career, made of bought votes, intimidation, violence – but also of an undeniable charisma, of his ability to cooperate with the Zulu monarchy in an anti-State key, managing to pass the message that he can personify the dreams of an entire people.

Therefore, his political parable does not end with his resignation. There are three years to go before the next elections, and he is preparing for a resounding come-back, which could take the form of a sort of secession of KwaZulu-Natal – perhaps, for now, without a declaration of independence, because Zuma and his acolytes need the support of the state. The moves are there for all to see: having made an iron-clad agreement with organised crime, his henchmen are terrorising the population, but also the police and large multinational companies. After the death of King Zwelithini, with whom he had collaborated for years, and the election of the heir-designate of the Royal House, Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini, Zuma managed to open a dispute to force the new King to abdicate and leave the place to his son Duduzane, a young man who, at not even 40 years of age, has on his shoulders a formidable curriculum of murders, swindles, devastations and collaborations with Indian and Chinese organised crime[3].

No apple falls far from the tree. Jacob Zuma has a history of criminal controversies worthy of a Hollywood film: his first arrest was in 1963, for conspiracy to overthrow the South African government, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Robben Island. Once free, he continued to fight against Apartheid, and in 1975 fled into exile, first to Swaziland and then to Mozambique, to avoid arrest. A member of the executive committee of the ANC in 1977, he returned in 1990 and was elected president of KwaZulu-Natal. In December 1997 he was elected Vice-President of the ANC and in June 1999 was appointed Vice-President by Thabo Mbeki[4].

President Mbeki himself dismissed him in June 2005[5] after he was involved in the conviction of one of his close friends, businessman Schabir Shaik[6], accused of soliciting bribes from a French arms company on behalf of Zuma[7]. The Durban High Court ruled that Shaik paid Zuma in exchange for government contracts and solicited a bribe from the French arms company Thint Holdings as a reward: Shaik’s payments to Zuma allegedly amounted to 1.2 million rand[8]. In return, he was supposed to stop an investigation into arms trafficking in 1999. In December 2005, the corruption charges were joined by rape charges[9].

The latter charge was dropped[10], and in September 2016, inexplicably, the court ruled that the evidence against Zuma was insufficient – the same evidence for which it convicted Shaik[11]. In December 2007 he was charged with corruption, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion[12], but the judge acquitted him, accusing Mbeki of plotting against Zuma[13]. Mbeki resigned in protest[14], and the magistrates investigating Zuma appealed against the acquittal decision[15]. In January 2009, the court of appeal overturned the previous sentence, and the trial against Zuma restarted a few months before the general election[16]. Inexplicably, the charges against him were dropped on 6 April[17].

July 2021: demonstration on the streets of Durban in favour of Zuma’s release from prison[18]

In February 2010, now president of South Africa, Zuma admitted to having had a child out of wedlock, a serious matter for the Zulu monarchy[19]. In March 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal, accepting the requests of the Democratic Alliance (DA), ordered a review of the 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma[20]. In May 2013, he was charged with abuse of office for allowing a private Airbus A330-200, chartered by India’s Jet Airways, to land at Waterkloof military base, carrying 300 guests to a wedding of the Indian Gupta mafia family – a family with which Zuma has close ties – without proper permits[21]. A government investigation clears him[22].

He must also answer charges of fraud and corruption for the multimillion-dollar expenditure on his private farm in Nkandla: Thuli Madonsela, the national ombudsman, publishes an official report in March 2014 detailing the results of two years of investigation, and concludes that many of the upgrades to the farm, financed with public funds (246 million rand for a swimming pool, an amphitheatre and a kraal for livestock[23]) are not related to security[24]. In March 2016, Zuma was ordered to pay back some of the funding[25]. In order to pay the 7.8 million rand owed, he will be forced to take out a loan from the VBS Mutual Bank[26].

Madonsela prepared a report on the business links between Zuma and the Guptas when he was forced to resign in October 2016[27]. On 2 November, however, the court ordered its immediate publication[28]: the report detailed several cases of possible undue influence and recommended that a judicial enquiry team be set up to investigate the allegations further[29]. In July 2017, the scandal, dubbed “Guptagate”, broke: an ocean of presidential emails proved that the Gupta family used their influence to appoint cabinet ministers and benefit from government contracts[30].

In October 2017, the Supreme Court reinstated the 783 old corruption charges filed against Jacob Zuma[31]. On 29 December 2017 the Constitutional Court finds that parliament has failed by acquitting Zuma over the Nkandla scandal, and orders the National Assembly to force the president to resign within 180 days[32]. In March 2018, the court rules that Zuma will face 12 counts of fraud, one of racketeering, two of corruption and one of money laundering[33]. As part of the accusations launched by Madonsela, in July 2019 Zuma appears before the “State Capture Commission”: he rejects the charges, speaks of a political boycott and refuses to cooperate further with the commission[34]. He also declares his innocence in the trial, which began in May 2021, for the old charges from 1999[35].

In June 2021, the Constitutional Court sentences Zuma to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of court[36]. Zuma begins serving his sentence in July, but in August he is in hospital, apparently for surgery that has never been clarified[37]. He was granted probation and allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence at home. In July he was ordered to suspend his probation, but instead of going back to prison he locked himself up in his villa and waited for the results of the appeal, while in the streets of Durban and other towns in KwaZulu-Natal hundreds of angry demonstrators were clamouring for his acquittal[38].

The crisis of the democratic system

ANC chief Cyril Ramaphosa is declared the winner of the May 2019 electio[39]

In a normal country, such a man would have been forced out of politics, but South Africa is not a normal country; rather, there is a risk that, in the struggle between the democratic state and Zuma, it is the latter who will prevail and destabilise the system. In the 2019 general election, the ANC retains an absolute majority of votes (57.5%), but loses over 4.6% and 19 seats in Parliament[40]. The heavy defeat is even more evident in the elections for provincial parliaments, which are traditionally held at the same time as the general elections: here the anger against the ANC brings votes not only to the other historic parties, but also to small local formations[41]. This is a further sign of the crisis of this party, which still lives on the memories of the struggle against Apartheid and its myths, from Steve Biko to Nelson Mandela, but which today is a symbol of corruption and profound weakness of purpose.

Those 19 seats in the national parliament are taken by a group of extremists born from a split in the ANC: the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters), which focuses its electoral campaign precisely on the weak points of South African power, and promises honesty and help for the poorest[42]. The IFP, the party of the Zulu monarchy, is also growing, taking its half million votes in just one province, KwaZulu-Natal[43]. A province that, if a referendum were to be held tomorrow, would probably vote for its own independence[44].

It is difficult to say what has most compromised the situation, but it is certainly a key measure, strongly desired by Mandela, that is at the root of the Zulus’ anger: the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Act, a measure that was supposed to decisively promote black participation in the transformation of South Africa[45]. The principles of the measure are contained in the 29 May 1998 speech by ANC leader Thabo Mbeki to the National Assembly on “Reconciliation and Nation Building”[46]. Reconciliation between blacks and whites is a dream unless the socio-economic disparities of Apartheid are quickly overcome[47].

In addition to small and complex measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises set up by blacks, there is one fundamental issue: all white companies, including foreign multinationals, are obliged to give a certain percentage of their shares to the local black community and to choose small local companies to carry out services related to production[48]. The price of the shares will then be repaid by deductions from the dividends, adjusted so as not to put the new co-owners in difficulty[49].

One of the first companies to move is the Sanlam Group, which is selling its 10% stake in MetLife to a consortium led by Nthato Motlana, a leader of the ANC Youth League and former doctor to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu[50]. The consortium, named New Africa Investments Limited (NAIL), had a market value of nearly 6 billion rand ($38.4 million) at the end of 1998[51]. The law is applied everywhere: by 1999, 281 companies had already implemented it[52] and, by 2004, the sum of value transferred to blacks exceeded 80 billion rand (13.3 billion dollars)[53]. In the following years, on the basis of the experience gained, the law was changed until it reached its current final version, which has been in force since 2003[54]. Since 2007, a mechanism (the Scorecard) has been added to the law, rewarding companies that apply BEE with tax relief[55].

The legislators did their best to convince companies to join, but the law did not work. The reason is that, when it comes to distributing BEE percentages, companies rely on the public administration – hence on parties. And the parties, instead of giving the money to the local communities, distribute it among members of a powerful and corrupt black elite, leaving the villages hungry and angry[56].

The Richards Bay Minerals case

July 2021: Angry protesters attack the entrance to the Richards Bay mine, forcing the company to suspend operations for the umpteenth time[57]

The most obvious example of this failure is that of RBM Richards Bay Minerals, a world leader in the extraction and refining of titanium dioxide and other heavy mineral sands, located in the uThungulu district in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, in the area of the uMfolozi and uMhlathuze municipalities and four tribes: the Dube, KwaMbonambi, Sokhulu and mKhwanazi[58]. With the application of the Black Empowerment laws, Rio Tinto (which now controls 74% of the shares) sold 24% to the financial company Blue Horison 41 (Pty) Ltd[59]. The deal, worth about 4.5 billion rand, was made public on 11 December 2008[60]. The shares are divided between seven main investors (the Imbewu Consortium 3%; Matasis Investment Holdings 3%; Gade Investments 2.02%; Sambulo Investments 2.02%; South African Women’s Alliance 1.44%; Ungoye Investments 0.86%; Bingela Investments Consortium 0.85%) and the indigenous communities are left with only 2.7% each[61].

When Rio Tinto’s management realises that the division is unfair, it donates 17.5 million rand to the communities’ Public Benefit Trust (PBO), and promises a further 3 million rand a year for each community[62]. But even this money takes mysterious routes, for which the communities accuse their nKhosi involved in RBM, chief among them Mbonambi chief Martin Mbuyazi, who was appointed in 2017 and forced to resign in 2021 over suspicions of his disloyalty[63].

The tribes also raged against the company: in 2013 the devastation cost more than $13 million[64]. In 2016, members of the Sokhulu and KwaMbonambi communities block the entrance to the mine with burning trees, rocks and tyres, forcing the company to stop operations[65]. The activist Thokozani Mbika, together with his cousin, dies under the blows of AK-47 bullets and 9 calibre rifles: the killers leave an intimidating letter to other activists involved in the protests, suggesting that the assassination is the work of hit men from the mining company[66]. A trick: on September 2, an RBM director, Ronny Nzimande, was riddled with 20 shots from the same weapons while driving his car[67].

The situation is extremely serious. The ANC is angry at Rio Tinto for not encouraging the employment of local workers and small businesses in the area, especially in educational and health projects[68]. In 2018, the miners demanded better pay: they went on strike, blocked the roads, smashed what they could find, until a security guard, Vusi Mhlenyane[69], died. Rio Tinto threatens to close the mine if the state is not able to guarantee order, security and investigate the events[70].

In the neighbouring town of eMpemeni, where RBM is studying new mining activities, the violence is even more extreme: 38 murders and 14 attempted murders from 2016 to 2020[71], inhabitants furious because of expropriations or because they are forced to accept derisory fees to sell their land[72]. But the violence also has another target: those who knew about or benefited from the licences granted to RBM[73]. Despite the fact that the company has paid 8 billion rand in salaries, royalties and taxes, plus 1.5 billion rand to local companies and 540 million rand for local community projects[74], the majority of the inhabitants have been left out of the redistribution and, on the contrary, are now paying an unacceptable price: pollution[75], reduction in water and electricity distribution[76], expropriation and exploitation, brokered by the Izinduna – the village chiefs[77]. The few local companies working with RBM are subject to the same rage and murderous fury[78].

The proposal for a new mine (in yellow) on the southern border of the iSimangaliso National Park[79]

Things get worse when it turns out that, in all of this, the Ingonyama Trust is the authority that ceded the land and collected the money – as if it were the personal property of King Zwelithini[80]. In 2018 RBM donates 79 million rand to the KwaMbonambi Development Trust to fund local projects: that money disappears, but the village chiefs suddenly flaunt surprising affluence[81]. Anger mounts inexorably.

At the end of 2019, Rio Tinto, due to a new wave of violence, decides to suspend its activities[82]; it will resume them the following January, after Sihle Zikalala, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, promises to solve the communities’ problems[83]. Adding fuel to the fire is an RBM expansion project, called Zulti South, which would extend the life of the mine until at least 2040. The project would cost 6.7 billion rand and, according to RBM, would bring about 100 billion rand to the local economy over the next 25 years[84]. Zulti South is located in the vicinity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park – in an area that King Zwelithini wanted to exploit on his own, along with a small Sokhulu tribal company, Eyamakhosi Resources (Pty) Ltd., which has secretly obtained an exploitation licence for the same area previously granted to RBM[85] and which, in any case, has been the subject of a battle by environmentalists for years[86].

The iSimangaliso (Place of Wonders) Wetland Park (iWP), was South Africa’s first World Heritage site and as of 2019 is the country’s second park: it consists of 16 nature reserves created during apartheid that, thanks to the Ingonyama Trust, have been reallocated[87]. In 2018, Eyamakhosi Resources (Pty) Ltd., a company owned by a former RBM employee from the Sokhulu tribe, Sicebi Mthethwa, submitted an application for prospecting rights within part of Reserve 4 (about 500 hectares) in the KwaSokhulu area[88], an area with a very valuable ecosystem with special endangered flora and fauna[89] on the border of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The attempt had already been made by Rio Tinto 30 years earlier, but without success[90].

Eyamakhosi Resources tried again in an area slightly further north-west, but came up against environmentalists head-on[91]. RBM publicly distances itself from this attempt. The NGO iSimangaliso Action Group asks Eyamakhosi to reveal the hidden financiers behind the project, but gets no response[92]. Another NGO, Andrew Zaloumis’ Wild Equity Foundation, confirms in a report that Eyamakhosi Resorces, without someone behind it, is not capable of managing such a mining concession[93]. The name Ingonyama Trust, which has always expressed interest, is circulating, but the project needs much, much bigger and more powerful sponsors with the necessary technological know-how.

In May 2021, Nico Swart, general manager of RBM’s operational services, died in a hail of bullets in his car on his way to work[94]. RBM closes its doors again[95], in protest at the murder, but also because the blockades organised by the trade unions, demanding Jacob Zuma’s release, surprisingly focus on preventing the mine from being supplied with raw materials[96]. In order to reopen, RBM concludes a deal with the AmaKhosi, and pays 130 million rand to the community trusts, checking that this time they arrive[97]. Investigations into the murders do not bring any results. One thing is clear: behind all this violence there is not just anger and desperation, but a cold and calculating agenda.

Ingonyama Trust under indictment

Former judge Jerome Ngwenya, president of the Ingonyama Trust[98]

Since 2007, when Ingonyama (ITB) began asking residents to convert their apartheid legacy certificates of occupancy (PTO)[99] into leases, the illegal occupation of land by ITB began. ITB behaves as if it owns land that it has only received as a tutelary trustee: 40-year contracts, lengthy documents in bureaucratic English, annual increases of 10% of the money illegally paid to the Ingonyama Trust which, moreover, grants itself eviction powers[100].

Ingonyama, which has King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu as its sole trustee, is a whirlpool that swallows up rivers of money, not only from extorted rents from residents, but also through the collection of mining royalties, or through bribery operations – and refuses to answer embarrassing questions from the South African authorities or to submit the auditing documents required by law[101]. Quite simply, the King admits the existence of irregularities, but believes it is within his monarchical power to commit them[102].

The Parliamentary Commission on Rural Development opened an enquiry in 2014[103] and, after years of controversy, finally concluded its work in 2020 with a request for state payments to the trust[104]. Former ITB chairman Judge Jerome Ngwenya, who is accused of unlawful enrichment[105], denies the legitimacy of the Trust’s enquiries[106] and says he will not go before a South African court because he does not recognise its authority, claiming he is accountable only to King Zwelithini[107]. A court forces him to relinquish the title of judge[108], Ngwenya refuses[109].

In January 2021 ITB employees write a letter of complaint about brutal and illegal management even within the Trust itself, demanding that Ngwenya be replaced[110] – but he merely replaces his closest associates on the Board of Trustees[111]. An attempt by the judiciary to arrest him failed. And after the king’s death in January 2021, Ngwenya is left alone to administer Ingonyama Trust[112].

The pattern slowly becomes clear. The secret power of KwaZulu-Natal is managed by Ngwenya and those who finance it, protect it and direct its movements. From the shadows of illegality, a series of powerful and dangerous characters emerge, whose influence everyone is now aware of, but whom the State is no longer able to combat. First among them is businessman Sandile Zungu – a man who has become extremely rich because, over the past 20 years, he has been the beneficiary of several transfers of shares in large companies through the Black Empowerment Act[113]. Jacob Zuma put him at the head of the Black Business Council and the commission that monitors the application of the Black Empowerment laws[114], i.e. the source that decides which companies from indigenous communities receive subsidies and obtain public contracts[115].

29 October 2016: President Zuma (second from left) at a gala of his supporters, organised by Sandile Zungu (first right)[116]

Repeated complaints about the management of these centres of power are systematically ignored by the South African judiciary[117]. In return, Zungu bought the monarchy’s football team, FC Amazulu, and invested in taking it to the top of South African football[118], and became Jacob Zuma’s financial adviser – both during his presidency and afterwards[119]. In 2010, Zungu arranged for Duduzane, the president’s son, to get a major slice of a number of foreign companies, including the ArcelorMittal group, but especially the Gupta family’s Sahara Group[120].

The Guptas, an Indian family who immigrated to South Africa in the early 1990s[121], became one of the country’s biggest economic powers in just a few years, and are behind the financing of Jacob Zuma’s election campaigns and the trials of the Ingonyama Trust[122], and are the ones who financed the construction of the first buildings of Zuma’s villa-fort in Nkandla[123]. Overwhelmed by the fraudulent bankruptcy of their companies[124], and forced to leave South Africa as soon as it was discovered that they were giving orders to the president[125], shortly before Zuma was forced to resign, they quietly reconnected, resumed their support for Zuma and are now preparing for a resounding comeback[126].

The Gupta family is behind one of the most contested decisions of the Zuma presidency: that of the so-called “Land Bill”[127] which, in 2017, proposed to transform the trust allocations of ITB-administered land into Trust land in the name of King Zwelithini – a proposal withdrawn shortly before a civil war broke out[128]. In his capacity as consultant, Atul Gupta founded almost two hundred companies, whose indirect ownership is in the hands of the Zuma family, which still receive state funds for multi-year projects that were never implemented[129]. Many of these companies are now run by the Gcaba brothers (Zuma’s nephews[130]) who, twenty years ago, formed the Gupta family’s hit squads, and today, instead, manage the Mafia’s control of taxis and other means of transport in the Durban area, and are suspected of working directly under Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane[131].

None of them has ever had any problems with the police – perhaps because during the years of the Zuma presidency the chief of police of KwaZulu-Natal, Sbu Mpisane, today a very rich businessman and owner of the Royal Eagles football team in Pietermaritzburg[132], became one of the beneficiaries of the redistributions of the Black Empowerment directed by Sandile Zungu[133]… we could go on for pages and pages, but at this point one thing is clear: there is a political and industrial design to transform KwaZulu-Natal into a province dominated by the Zulu monarchy and financed by a group of corrupt businessmen, with strong links to organized crime, who have always revolved around Jacob Zuma as a political figure and Atul Gupta as an economic point of reference. A plan that is now being pursued with the cynical and systematic destabilization of the country, the incitement to violence and the repression of anyone who opposes this group of characters, which the South African state has been trying in vain to curb for years. The closer the 2024 elections get, the more obvious this design becomes. But now that Zwelithini is dead, this group needs to control the Zulu monarchy.

Royal scuffles for power

President Zuma and his personal adviser, Atul Gupta, at an official dinner in 2012[134]

On 12 March 2021 King Zwelithini, husband of six wives and father of 28 children, died[135]. In accordance with his will, Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini – his third wife, married in 1977 – was appointed regent, while the name of the next king was being discussed[136]. The battle between the widows began immediately and fiercely over the correct protocol for the funeral[137]. Queen Sibongile Dlamini does not want one of her sons to inherit the throne, but she does want 50% of Zwelithini’s real estate[138]  and land holdings and control of the Zulu Royal Family Trust, which takes money from the government to maintain the royal properties[139].. The others are against it, and she commits the indignity of appealing to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg[140]. Her argument: she married Zwelithini 1969, before he was crowned, and therefore hers is the only valid marriage, since South African law prohibits polygamy[141]. He also asked that the process of electing a new king be stopped[142]. His son Lethukuthula, who would have been the first undisputed in the hereditary axis, was murdered by five killers a few years ago[143].

Frenetic meetings between factions, coordinated by Mbonisi, Zwelithini’s brother (who is next in line to the King’s sons), increase the confusion[144]: Buthelezi returns to the scene and publicly condemns the behaviour of his family[145]. Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini’s regency lasted only a month, as she died at the end of April[146] (some suggest she was poisoned[147]). In her will, the princess appoints her son Misuzulu as the next king[148]: despite the protests of many of the family members[149], who force the king’s guards to protect Misuzulu with armed bodyguards 24 hours a day, the 46-year-old heir is crowned[150].

In the meantime, the princesses Ntandoyenkosi Zulu and Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, Sibongile Dlamini’s daughters, contested King Zwelithini’s will and appealed to the courts[151]: according to the graphologist Yossi Vissoker, whom they had hired, the signature on the official will did not belong to the King[152]. The matter is likely to drag on for a long time, perhaps years[153]. Among the many alternative candidates there are also people who are not members of the Zwelithini family, but who are linked by direct or indirect descent to King Cetshwayo, considered the founder of the current Zulu dynasty – one of whom is Duduzane, Jacob Zuma’s first son: but his candidacy is withdrawn after a meeting in the villa-fort of Nkandla, at the end of July 2021, in the presence of Buthelezi, Duduzane, Misuzulu, some powerful nKhosi, Judge Ngwenya and Sindile Zungu[154]. From this meeting the position on the Misuzulu throne emerges extremely strengthened, but nothing is known of the agreements made – all that is known is that they extend to the future of the Ingonyama Trust and King Zwelithini’s mining dreams, but also the monarchy’s support for this or that political figure.

And this is where we find ourselves today. Zuma and the Gupta family, in KwaZulu-Natal, have proven to be stronger than the judiciary, more powerful than politics, more influential than the King of Zulu and, thanks to the control they have over organised crime, logistics, the distribution of Black Empowerment Law percentages and the control of other key positions in the public life of the province, show that they could aim at the 2024 elections or, perhaps, even at secession and the establishment of an absolute monarchy. As usual, in these situations of extreme weakness of a democratic state, the whole world holds its breath – and does nothing.


[1] https://www.news24.com/drum/News/da-threatens-legal-action-over-nkandla-20170728-2

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Zuma

[3] https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2017-08-28-all-my-bank-accounts-have-been-closed-says-angry-duduzane-zuma/ ; https://www.iol.co.za/news/only-a-matter-of-time-before-duduzanes-declared-a-fugitive-sources-13348789 ;  https://www.iol.co.za/news/hawks-hunt-duduzane-in-wake-of-guptaarrests-13294922 ;  https://mg.co.za/article/2016-04-08-guptas-duduzane-zuma-step-down-from-oakbay/ ; https://www.news24.com/citypress/News/the-rise-and-fall-of-duduzane-zuma-20160409-2 ; https://ewn.co.za/2014/12/11/Court-finds-Duduzane-Zumas-negligence-lead-to-accident ; https://amp.ewn.co.za/2018/08/23/duduzane-zuma-s-culpable-homicide-case-postponed ; https://www.news24.com/Fin24/guptas-deny-trying-to-capture-r51bn-prasa-tender-20160619 ; https://www.news24.com/Fin24/state-capture-reports-taint-guptas-friendship-with-zuma-20160619 ; https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/r1-million-rewards-capture-duduzane-ajay-gupta/

[4] Jeremy Gordin, “Zuma: a biography”, Jonathan Ball Publishers, Johannesburg 2008; Richard Calland, “The Zuma years”, Struik Publishers, Johannesburg 2013

[5] https://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/president-thabo-mbeki-sacks-deputy-president-jacob-zuma

[6] https://www.jurist.org/news/2005/06/advisor-to-south-african-deputy/

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/15/southafrica.jeevanvasagar

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/15/southafrica.jeevanvasagar

[9] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2005/12/7/anc-suspends-zuma-pending-rape-trial

[10] https://www.jurist.org/news/2006/05/anc-reinstates-zuma-as-deputy/

[11] https://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/world/africa/21zuma.html

[12] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/28/southafrica

[13] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-zuma-idUSLC54653420080912

[14] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-politics-mbeki-idUSWEA015020080920

[15] https://polity.org.za/article/npa-to-appeal-zuma-judgment-2008-09-17

[16] https://www.theafricareport.com/9446/kgalema-motlanthe-man-of-the-moment/

[17] https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2009-04-08/south-africa-prosecutor-drops-corruption-charges-against-zuma/

[18] https://doingbuzz.com/les-partisans-de-jacob-zuma-ont-tente-dempecher-son-arrestation/

[19] https://www.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-45883720100203

[20] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-17442486

[21] https://theworld.org/stories/2013-05-03/who-let-gupta-family-land-south-african-military-base

[22] https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/zuma-s-name-cleared-from-gupta-gate-scandal-113100400019_1.html

[23] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-04-08-inside-cabinet-during-zumas-nkandla-scandal-by-rob-davies/

[24] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35943941

[25] https://www.dw.com/en/south-africas-zuma-ordered-to-pay-back-money-for-unlawful-home-renovations/a-17509365

[26] https://www.africanews.com/2016/09/12/zuma-used-bank-loan-to-refund-upgrade-of-his-private-residence/

[27] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37655939

[28] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/2/south-africa-court-orders-zuma-report-to-be-released

[29] https://www.newsweek.com/south-africa-jacob-zuma-lashes-out-against-thuli-madonsela-public-attacks-520076

[30] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-06-05-guptaleaks-what-does-email-trove-mean-for-zuma-and-south-africa/

[31] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-politics-zuma-idUSKBN1CI1B7

[32] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/29/south-africas-top-court-puts-pressure-on-jacob-zuma.html

[33] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/former-south-african-president-jacob-zuma-faces-corruption-charges/2018/03/16/f3f9439c-2929-11e8-b79d-f3d931db7f68_story.html

[34] https://www.polity.org.za/article/former-president-zuma-and-the-state-capture-commission-of-inquiry-2019-07-16

[35] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/26/s-africa-jacob-zuma-pleads-not-guilty-to-corruption-charges

[36] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-06-29-concourt-finds-jacob-zuma-guilty-of-unprecedented-contempt-seals-sanction-with-15-month-jail-sentence/

[37] https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrican-court-grants-ex-president-zuma-leave-appeal-order-return-jail-2021-12-21/

[38] https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/safrican-court-grants-ex-president-zuma-leave-appeal-order-return-jail-2021-12-21/

[39] https://www.cfr.org/blog/south-african-election-results-strengthen-ramaphosas-hand-anc

[40] https://www.elections.org.za/IECOnline/Documents/NPE_SeatCalculationGraphic.pdf

[41] https://www.nigrizia.it/notizia/sudafrica-crollo-dellanc-alle-elezioni-amministrative

[42] https://www.elections.org.za/IECOnline/Documents/NPE_SeatCalculationGraphic.pdf

[43] https://www.elections.org.za/IECOnline/Documents/NPE_SeatCalculationGraphic.pdf


[45] https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/knowledge/publications/fe87cd48/broad-based-black-economic-empowerment—basic-principles

[46] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/full-text-of-mbekis-state-of-nation-speech-314525

[47] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/full-text-of-mbekis-state-of-nation-speech-314525

[48] https://www.gov.za/documents/broad-based-black-economic-empowerment-act

[49] https://www.gov.za/documents/broad-based-black-economic-empowerment-act

[50] http://www.treasury.gov.za/publications/other/growth/06-Procurement%20and%20bee/02-black%20economic%20empowerment%20and%20economic%20performance%20in%20so.pdf page 7

[51] https://repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/23145/dissertation.pdf?sequence=1 “Black Economic Empowerment and its Impact on Wealth Creation in the New South Africa” – Andile Caleb Makhunga – page 3

[52] https://www.westerncape.gov.za/text/2004/5/beecomreport.pdfBEE Commission Report, 2001 – p. 24

[53] https://omalley.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv03445/04lv04206/05lv04220/06lv04221/07lv04222.htm

[54] https://www.bbbeecommission.co.za/broad-based-black-economic-empowerment-act-2003/

[55] https://smesouthafrica.co.za/Brush-up-on-your-BEE-knowledge/

[56] https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/26799/ ; https://mg.co.za/article/2018-08-31-00-has-bee-been-a-dismal-failure/

[57] https://www.miningmx.com/opinion/columnists/46609-rbm-violence-another-example-of-how-poorly-resourced-police-are-failing-sas-mining-sector/

[58] https://www.riotinto.com/operations/south-africa/richards-bay-minerals


[60] https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/richards-bay-minerals-signs-r45bn-black-empowerment-deal-2008-12-11

[61] https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/richards-bay-minerals-signs-r45bn-black-empowerment-deal-2008-12-11

[62] https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/richards-bay-minerals-signs-r45bn-black-empowerment-deal-2008-12-11

[63] https://zululandobserver.co.za/136450/premier-appoints-new-mbonambi-administrator/ ; https://www.mukurukurumedia.co.za/2019/12/17/death-stalks-mining-community-after-peacemakers-assassination/ ; https://www.news24.com/citypress/News/chiefs-widow-on-the-run-they-want-my-son-dead-20200317

[64] https://www.news24.com/Fin24/rio-tintos-sa-mine-disrupted-by-protest-20160510

[65] https://www.news24.com/citypress/business/fresh-protests-shut-rios-richards-bay-mine-20160814

[66] https://www.news24.com/citypress/business/fresh-protests-shut-rios-richards-bay-mine-20160814

[67] https://zululandobserver.co.za/122659/update-slain-in-cold-blood/

[68] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9ce5/6753acb49bb9883ea920015a9d6957afd9c0.pdf

[69] https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/the-mercury-south-africa/20180716/281526521829029

[70] https://www.iol.co.za/mercury/news/violent-acts-threaten-jobs-at-kzn-mining-firm-16051116

[71] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-14-empembeni-mirrors-the-scourge-of-mining-related-assassinations-in-kzn/

[72] https://www.news24.com/citypress/news/kzns-killing-fields-6-activists-dead-after-questioning-oil-project-20190212

[73] https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/zululand-observer-monday/20190114/281582356791111

[74] https://www.newframe.com/mining-in-richards-bay-remains-a-double-edged-sword/

[75] https://www.violencemonitor.com/2018/10/01/talking-expropriation-and-restitution-ignoring-dispossession-and-deaths-what-is-the-government-and-the-ingonyama-trust-hiding-in-mpembeni/

[76] https://www.newframe.com/mining-in-richards-bay-remains-a-double-edged-sword/

[77] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-12-31-mining-in-richards-bay-remains-a-double-edged-sword/

[78] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-12-31-mining-in-richards-bay-remains-a-double-edged-sword/

[79] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-11-08-anger-over-back-door-st-lucia-dune-mining-plan/

[80] https://www.violencemonitor.com/2018/10/01/talking-expropriation-and-restitution-ignoring-dispossession-and-deaths-what-is-the-government-and-the-ingonyama-trust-hiding-in-mpembeni/

[81] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-12-31-mining-in-richards-bay-remains-a-double-edged-sword/

[82] https://www.mining.com/web/violent-protests-shut-down-key-rio-tinto-mine-in-south-africa/

[83] https://www.miningreview.com/speciality-minerals/icymi-rio-tinto-resumes-operations-at-richards-bay-minerals/

[84] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2021-08-29-richards-bay-minerals-the-poster-child-for-south-africas-mining-governance-mess/

[85] https://www.coastwatch.org.za/blog.php?p=32 ; https://www.violencemonitor.com/2018/10/01/talking-expropriation-and-restitution-ignoring-dispossession-and-deaths-what-is-the-government-and-the-ingonyama-trust-hiding-in-mpembeni/

[86] https://legalbrief.co.za/diary/legalbrief-environmental/story/court-blocks-coal-mine-in-protected-area-3/print/

[87] https://isimangaliso.com/

[88] https://whc.unesco.org/document/180878

[89] https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/zululand-observer/20181026/281522227075619

[90] https://www.businesslive.co.za/bt/business-and-economy/2018-09-08-riddle-of-the-sands-is-rio-moving-on-st-lucia/ ; https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-11-08-anger-over-back-door-st-lucia-dune-mining-plan/?fbclid=IwAR2pYdx8-mJp5QQcNvei_E1re_fONyf5UJJZ-08OOyV4bauyRoTnEC44hfk

[91] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-11-08-anger-over-back-door-st-lucia-dune-mining-plan/?fbclid=IwAR2pYdx8-mJp5QQcNvei_E1re_fONyf5UJJZ-08OOyV4bauyRoTnEC44hfk

[92] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-11-20-rio-tinto-we-have-nothing-to-do-with-world-heritage-mining-row/

[93] https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3.sourceafrica.net/documents/118519/Wild-Equity-Foundation-Comments.pdf

[94] https://www.mining.com/rio-tintos-richards-bay-manager-murdered-on-way-to-work/

[95] https://www.miningmx.com/news/markets/47256-rbm-denies-extortion-pressure-over-r130m-to-communities-following-murder-of-gm/

[96] https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2243210-south-african-unrest-highlights-longterm-risks

[97] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2021-08-29-richards-bay-minerals-the-poster-child-for-south-africas-mining-governance-mess/

[98] https://mg.co.za/news/2020-10-13-ingonyama-trust-hit-with-forensic-audit/

[99] https://ibiworld.eu/2022/01/06/il-kwazulu-natal-ultima-grande-monarchia-nera/

[100] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02582473.2021.1909116

[101] https://landportal.org/news/2021/11/south-africa-kwazulu-natal-forensic-audit-call-ingonyama-trust-board ; https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/ingonyama-trust-board-delays-submitting-audit-report-to-parliament-says-minister-thoko-didiza-30f1e88f-873a-4542-a3d0-b67f18084168

[102] https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/ingonyama-trust-admits-constant-perennial-irregular-expenditure-20200605

[103] https://pmg.org.za/committee-meeting/17629/

[104] https://www.parliament.gov.za/press-releases/agriculture-land-reform-and-rural-development-committee-calls-suspension-funds-ingonyama-trust ; https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2020-10-22-didiza-gets-mandla-mandelas-support-on-ingonyama-trust-probe/

[105] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2020-12-08-time-for-the-ingonyama-trust-board-to-explain-how-it-manages-its-land/

[106] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/judge-ngwenya-says-there-is-no-probe-into-ingonyama-trust-board-b2943d26-34ad-4ef6-9313-1f2cc05c6aa8

[107] https://mg.co.za/news/2020-10-13-ingonyama-trust-hit-with-forensic-audit/?utm_source=headtopics&utm_medium=news&utm_campaign=2020-10-13

[108] https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-09-09-stop-calling-yourself-judge-mogoeng-warns-ingonyama-trusts-jerome-ngwenya/ ; https://allafrica.com/stories/200205230741.html

[109] https://www.news24.com/witness/news/ingonyama-trust-board-chair-will-not-drop-title-judge-20200908

[110] https://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/news/ingonyama-trust-run-like-a-spaza-shop-b9ad3509-da62-4ff3-a1cf-5dbf1916aaa5

[111] https://www.salabournews.co.za/56980-ingonyama-trust-board-gets-a-new-chief-executive

[112] http://www.ingonyamatrust.org.za/the-board/

[113] https://sa411.co.za/what-you-did-not-know-about-businessman-sandile-zungu/

[114] https://go.lifecheq.co.za/rsvp/an-evening-with-sandile-zungu

[115] https://blackbusinesscouncil.africa/sandile.html

[116] https://www.flickr.com/photos/governmentza/30646116566

[117] http://www.702.co.za/articles/339482/i-was-never-zuma-s-advisor-and-have-no-dealings-with-duduzane-sandile-zungu

[118] https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/soccer/psl-south-africa/who-is-sandile-zungu-amazulu-zico/

[119] https://www.news24.com/citypress/voices/the-wasted-zuma-years-20191221

[120] https://www.itweb.co.za/content/KPNG878XnPW74mwD

[121] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/how-the-guptas-of-saharanpur-came-to-be-known-as-the-zuptas-of-south-africa/articleshow/60101573.cms ; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-22513410

[122] https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/business/2014-10-05-zuma-adviser-hits-out-at-alliance/ ;

[123] https://www.news24.com/News24/zuma-on-the-nkandla-bond-the-judiciary-and-the-guptas-then-and-now-20160518

[124] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gupta_family

[125] https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2016-03-18-zuma-said-its-ok-ntombazana-says-former-anc-mp-vytjie-mentor/ ;  https://web.archive.org/web/20170528133921/http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/stnews/2017/05/28/Here-they-are-The-emails-that-prove-the-Guptas-run-South-Africa

[126] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/solving-the-sordid-gupta-saga-1511330 ; https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2015-12-17-gupta-family-seen-as-symbol-of-zumas-failing-rule/

[127] https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201703/40697gen229.pdf

[128] https://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2017/04/20/land-bill-zuma-zulu-king

[129] https://mg.co.za/article/2010-03-19-keeping-it-in-the-family/

[130] http://www.praatnet.co.za/ZUMA+Inc.+ZUMA+FAMILY+NEPOTISM&p=nuus&a=wysstorie&sid=2019

[131] https://www.jstor.org/stable/23145868 ; https://mg.co.za/article/2010-03-19-keeping-it-in-the-family/ ; http://www.praatnet.co.za/ZUMA+Inc.+ZUMA+FAMILY+NEPOTISM&p=nuus&a=wysstorie&sid=2019

[132] https://ghanadmission.com/za/sbu-mpisane/

[133] https://buzzsouthafrica.com/who-is-sbu-mpisane-biography-of-the-flamboyant-husband-of-shauwn-mkhize/

[134] https://www.ft.com/content/9f9ca7f6-6c71-11e6-a0c9-1365ce54b926

[135] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56370621

[136] https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-03-24-queen-mantfombi-appointed-regent-of-zulu-nation-3-months-of-mourning-declared/

[137] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/king-goodwill-zwelithinis-burial-a-divisive-issue-for-zulu-royals-56899c33-894a-4ddd-b32c-5c58e5737d1b

[138] https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times-daily/opinion-and-analysis/2021-12-16-game-of-thrones-a-battle-for-zulu-riches/

[139] https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times-daily/opinion-and-analysis/2021-12-16-game-of-thrones-a-battle-for-zulu-riches/

[140] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/5-startling-claims-and-demands-zulu-kings-wife-makes-in-court-papers-as-she-fights-for-throne-441decb5-c22f-4118-a3b3-534f7e58c6f7

[141] https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-05-04-goodwill-zwelithinis-eldest-wife-says-hers-was-the-only-legitimate-marriage-to-late-king-and-demands-half-of-his-estate/

[142] https://sundayworld.co.za/breaking-news/battle-for-the-amazulu-kingship-to-be-fought-fiercely-in-the-courts/

[143] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56993215

[144] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/5-startling-claims-and-demands-zulu-kings-wife-makes-in-court-papers-as-she-fights-for-throne-441decb5-c22f-4118-a3b3-534f7e58c6f7

[145] https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-04-22-buthelezi-accuses-zulu-kings-siblings-of-attempts-to-torpedo-his-wishes-and-arrangements/

[146] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/30/zulu-nation-ruler-queen-mantfombi-dlamini-dies-aged-65

[147] https://foreverblack.org/2021/05/06/sa-some-suspect-foul-play-in-zulu-queen-death/ ; https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/prince-buthelezi-reveals-claims-of-queen-mantfombi-madlamini-zulus-poisoning/

[148] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-57035157

[149] https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-05-07-prince-misuzulu-zulu-named-new-zulu-king/?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1620407932

[150] https://sundayworld.co.za/breaking-news/eswatini-to-the-rescue-of-zulu-heir/

[151] https://ewn.co.za/2021/05/02/report-zulu-royals-embroiled-in-alleged-fraudulent-will-dispute

[152] https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/pics-here-is-the-disputed-signature-of-king-goodwill-zwelithini-that-a-handwriting-expert-claimed-was-forged-b9adca31-edbc-430e-bc7d-cb33585761f9

[153] https://sundayworld.co.za/news/no-end-to-royal-discord-over-amazulu-vhavenda-thrones/

[154] https://www.iol.co.za/mercury/news/royal-row-over-regiments-at-zumas-nkandla-home-expert-says-amazulus-have-a-king-c71d98d9-f710-4987-875c-4bf7a4528272

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By browsing this website, you agree to our privacy policy.
I Agree