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TIMES SELECT TODAY: 'Entire ANC was Guptarised' | Huh? Vodacom says SA data is cheap | Tom Eaton & more

18 September 2018 - 05:00

The ANC’s wish to keep a safe distance from the state capture inquiry came to an abrupt end on Monday.

The party can no longer claim it is not on trial and that state capture was perpetrated by some members who went rogue on the organisation. It also cannot continue to quietly blame its former president, Jacob Zuma, for collusion with the Gupta family.

Two of its current top officials as well as three serving members of the national executive committee (NEC) have been incriminated in trying to bully a major SA bank to reopen the Guptas’ bank accounts in 2016.

Led by advocate Phillip Mokoena, Standard Bank’s former head of compliance Ian Sinton gave startling evidence at the inquiry about how senior management of the bank were summoned to the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House after the Guptas and Duduzane Zuma were given notice that their accounts were to be terminated.

Telecommunications giant Vodacom has demanded access to the Competition Commission’s “current market research” into data in other African countries being cheaper than in SA, saying it was unfair to compare.

The commission and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) are investigating the price of data with the aim of bringing costs down and making it more affordable for the poor.

The request in Vodacom's submission is among hundreds of submissions to the commission, some of which Times Select has seen. The majority raise concerns about how the poor have to pay more for data than the rich.

For a few hours on the day before Nelson Mandela’s funeral, international heads of state were banging down at Waterkloof like Highveld hailstones. Whether we liked it or not.

A 2013 memo by the US Defense Intelligence Agency put a less meteorological, and more worrying, spin on the morning’s chaos: between 2am and 6am, it claimed, several aircraft “disregarded host nation guidance and proceeded to land at [Waterkloof] without landing clearance”.

And then the important part: “To not have to admit to allowing uncleared aircraft to land at the SAAF base‚ the South Africa Overflight office issued verbal landing clearance to [Waterkloof] as the uncleared aircraft touched down at Waterkloof.”

Of course this wasn’t the first time a dodgy arrival at Waterkloof had to be fudged to save face: earlier that year the Guptas had hijacked the airbase for a family wedding. (In retrospect, they really did show us exactly who they were, didn’t they?)