04/07/2017 22:16 SAST | Updated 04/07/2017 23:35 SAST

David Mahlobo: Beware Forces Seeking To Undermine Our Gains

Fears of regime change and colour revolution, and gripes with an 'untransformed' judiciary, topped a feedback briefing by Minister David Mahlobo on the ANC's peace and stability commission.

Marc Davies

Preventing overreach by the judiciary (or other arms of state) and defining the "rules of engagement" between them, along with halting forces engaged in "espionage" and "regime change", were some of the key issues presented by Minister of State Security David Mahlobo on Tuesday in his feedback briefing on the ANC's peace and stability commission.

Here are some of the key points from Mahlobo's address:

Judiciary needs a change of "attitude and orientation"

While progress has been made, there are "issues to deal with beyond employment imperatives" in the transformation of the judiciary. "Attitudes in the judiciary and the orientation of the system itself" need to be scrutinised and transformed, he said. These include "historic issues as well," he said.

The commission also discussed the 'separation doctrine', emphasising a need to "regulate the rules of engagement [between the arms of state] so each can respect its role and independence without overreach," Mahlobo said.

He said no arm of state is "superior over the next" and the discussions pointed to the need for balance between them. Mahlobo said these are matters of both principle and policy.

Colour revolution, regime change and underhanded NGOs

Fears of a brewing colour revolution -- a term secretary general Gwede Mantashe described as "a mode that escalates protest action of service delivery to challenge state power" -- and "forces seeking to undermine our advances" are high on the agenda for an ANC suspicious of regime change through domestic and foreign-led interventions.

"We don't want to create the view that South Africa is loved by everyone: we know our enemies," Mahlobo said.

Mahlobo said colour revolutions normally occur in four phases:

a. Entities, including some NGOs, are established as vehicles of influence. "On record, we have said certain NGOs play that game," he said.

b. These 'entities' promote ideologies and use certain terminology to promote these ideologies. They hone in on claims such as a lack of credible leadership in the ruling party, no vision, and corruption.

c. They create and cultivate "celebrity leaders and alternatives".

d. They use government failures to drive revolutions.

Other key issues Mahlobo mentioned include:

- Halting overcrowding in prisons, with a particular emphasis in his speech on considering sending foreign nationals who commit petty crimes in South Africa back to their countries of origin to serve their terms. Prisoners who commit severe crimes would, however, serve their sentences locally if the resolution becomes policy.

- Defence forces in South Africa should be used to drive economic growth, but "not like in the apartheid days when it was militarised," he said. Research and innovation in the sector should be at the cutting edge and drive job creation.

- Questioned on why state capture had not been mentioned by Mahlobo in this specfic commission's feedback, he said the party has chosen to "discuss policy and not events". He said "corruption is a cancer, irrespective of where it comes from... and the president or government should be able to proceed to do the judicial commission of inquiry" into state capture as planned.

Meanwhile, a subsequent briefing on Tuesday evening on international relations discussions revealed the ANC has reaffirmed its position that the country should withdraw from the International Criminal Court. The party said withdrawal would encourage the speedy establishment of the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights.