What you are about to read may sound like something of a random political conspiracy and not what you would expect to hear from the country’s defense minister. Then again, we are in South Africa and it seems that the ANC’s PR is just as bad as Trumps: Anything goes.
Speaking at an event to honour the late ANC struggle hero Barney Molokoane, the Deputy Defence minister threw in a few claims of plans to overthrow the government. One incident was the terrorist attack on the Gautrain. Even worse, he said that the police were justified in shooting at the demonstrators in Marikana as the police were defending themselves from the heavily armed miners. Umm, have you seen Miners Shot Down?
In Marikana, those people or workers were heavily armed and they had already killed two policemen. If those policemen did not respond in that manner, we would be talking another language today. They would have massacred our police.
These “attacks” will not be from international terrorist groups such as Isis, but are instead home-grown, according to the president:
The president was saying [it will] not be Isis that you see … He said these counter-revolutionaries say they want to start with the Gautrain. Bafuna ukushaya iGautrain [they want to attack the Gautrain]. Not Isis, but these counter-revolutionaries inside the country, just to create instability.
Maphatsoe continued the explanation, saying that Zuma had told the NEC that this “counter-revolution” against his government was sponsored by foreign groupings. Obviously he is a bit suspicious over Julius’s visit to Britain:
The president was saying the counter-revolution is here with us. We see it with our own eyes and it is sponsored from abroad. They are paying them to destabilise the ANC. Their leadership is now in Britain fund-raising. And they have met with a trustee who funded the MDC in Zimbabwe.
And they are fearing for their livelihoods:
The president was saying yesterday he does not want to go back to Robben Island. If those people take over power you will see what democracy is. They will lock us up … they will do everything with this freedom that these comrades fought for.
But when asked to follow up on his comments, Maphatsoe tried to backtrack, saying they were the views of the Umkhonto WeSizwe Veterans Association – which he also leads.
We see what is happening in the country. The threat we fear might not be Isis, it’s a threat from people within the country.
The ANC also responded and they were shocked by the “false alarm” raised by Maphatsoe:
The ANC has noted with dismay an unfounded claim by [Mapahatsoe] who alleges that [the] President said there are people planning a terrorist act to blow up the Gautrain.
It is unfortunate that a general advice by the president for the country to raise its vigilance in line with the world climate of guarding against terrorism has been grossly distorted. President Zuma went further to say public places have been singled out by terrorists to create fear. In this instance, social places, public transport including trains and other public places can be targeted.
On Saturday morning, a cement truck fell from an overhead street and collided into a wall next to the Gautrain tracks in Muckleneuk, Pretoria when the driver lost control. This is the Gautrain incident that Maphatsoe claimed Zuma called a counter-revolutionary act.
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