11 March 2019

South Africa: Jacob Zuma and His State [Capture] Security Agency's Nine Wasted Years of Impunity


The high-level review panel report on the State Security Agency's (SSA) illicit activities during the Zuma years is awash with examples of politically-motivated operations, corruption and the spy agency's general disregard for the rule of law. The report could serve as a useful manual to help rescue the SSA from the swamp of abuse and malfeasance it had been dragged into by Zuma and Co. But this document should by no means be the final say on this grave matter, and President Cyril Ramaphosa's inevitable battle with the spooks is bound to get nasty.

The story of Thebe Maswabi and the Workers Association Union (WAU), a "labour union" for mine workers launched on South Africa's troubled platinum belt, must count among the most astonishing examples of Jacob Zuma's disregard for the Constitution he supposedly helped fight for and swore his allegiance to, twice.

It may also be one of the most incredible stories to emanate from Zuma's long-standing penchant for all things clandestine, and generally dodgy.

In early 2014, Maswabi and a few other individuals formally launched the WAU in Rustenburg, the heart of South Africa's then-thriving platinum mining sector. Although the platinum price collapse that would sink the area's...

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