17 February 2018 Saturday 10:57
By Azania Post reporter
The newly appointed South African President took the oath of office yesterday, as the chosen representative of the African National Congress (ANC), the founding party of the black Africans in South Africa.
His elevation to the highest office of state epitomizes not only the political bankruptcy of the perspective of bourgeois nationalism but the transformation of the old nationalist movements, which once professed anti-imperialist and even socialist goals, into direct instruments of imperialist rule.
Moreover, workers in every country will recognize in Ramaphosa a particularly venal expression of the role of trade union bureaucrats everywhere as loyal servants of the state and the employers.
Two things recommend Ramaphosa to the world’s bourgeoisie his fabulous wealth and the fact that he earned it through a readiness to deal ruthlessly with the working class, whose struggles first brought the ANC to power 24 years ago.
In yesterday’s State of the Nation address, Ramaphosa pledged to continue the long walk” to freedom, in which “all may share in the wealth of our land and have a better life” and to realize Nelson Mandela’s “vision of a democratic, just and equitable society.
He also promised to end the era of corruption and state capture by the multi-billionaire Gupta family, which characterized the rule of Jacob Zuma, is based on pro-business policies that can only worsen the desperate situation facing workers and youth.
Ramaphosa will act on behalf of corporations who bridle against the clientism and nepotism of the ANC government because it acts as an impediment to their ability to fully exploit South Africa’s rich resources of diamonds, precious metals, and minerals.
The crusade against corruption is to be waged by a man who is far-and-away the most corrupt individual in South Africa.
Ramaphosa led the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) during the struggle against the apartheid regime. From this vantage point, he played a key role in tying the working class to the pro-capitalist perspective of the ANC’s Freedom Charter—which separated the struggle against white supremacy and for formal legal equality for black South Africans from opposition to the capitalist system.
He went on to become the archetypal representative of the self-enrichment of a newly-created layer of black capitalists that was the essential function of the ANC’s policy of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).
In 1996, the ANC selected Ramaphosa to front its penetration of the private sector. Through the National Empowerment Consortium, he utilized trade union pension funds, together with his ability to secure government contracts, to win positions on the boards of some of the country’s largest firms.
Each deal struck brought generous share options, so that, by 2017, he had become the ultimate “tenderpreneur”—with a personal fortune valued at over $500 million. Ramaphosa is South Africa’s second-richest black person after Patrice Motsepe, his brother-in-law, and the country’s only black dollar billionaire.
Ramaphosa is above all trusted to become president because of his role of fighting corruption in the past. He is also remembered to have written a letter to the mineral resources minister that the Marikana miners were not engaged in a labor dispute but a “dastardly criminal” act.
Under Ramaphosa’s prompting, the ANC sent in the police to shoot, kill and maim striking workers and arrest 270 on charges of murder and attempted murder under apartheid-era “common purpose” laws.
WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE
Updated: 17.02.2018 15:13