The Highwaymen Episode 7: Lights Out
Gwede Mantashe now presides over the most important portfolio in the Cabinet — mining and energy. He’s run it like a fiefdom, trying to shut down any real commitment to a green energy transition. We also explore how Mantashe aided and abetted State Capture, and the slow but sure creep toward a gangster state — and all-out gang warfare.
Listen to the podcast here.
Richard Poplak: State Capture. What a ride!
News Clip: Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has handed over part 4 of the State Capture Inquiry’s report. The topics covered in this latest instalment include the capture of Eskom; the attempted capture of the National Treasury; Gupta bank accounts and the Free State asbestos and housing scandals.
Richard Poplak: After the ANC’s Polokwane conference and the ascension of Zuma, the ANC’s elite capture project started to coalesce under the iron hand of one man — Msholozi. The Boss. Zuma began reformatting intelligence gathering, policing and state-owned enterprises as adjuncts of his syndicate working under the umbrella of the ANC.
His secretary-general in the ANC was, famously, Gwede Mantashe.
Our colleague Ferial Haffajee weighs in on how Mantashe helped manage this process.
Ferial Haffajee: Several people approached him at the height of capture. And they said to him, comrade, there are terrible things happening here. And I remember a time where he invited people to bring him evidence, and they did. They submitted documents to him, they had meetings with him, and he did absolutely nothing. So there was a duty to the whistle-blowers, and a political duty to the country, which I also think raises fundamental questions about his role in that period, and his role as a leader.
Richard Poplak: Leaving ethics and legality aside, as secretary-general, Mantashe was sublime. He danced between and over factions, keeping the congress coherent, managing the interpersonal ...