Maphatsoe's death a blow for RET

The late Kebby Maphatsoe.
The late Kebby Maphatsoe.
Image: Sunday Times

Kebby Maphatsoe was one of Jacob Zuma's most strident supporters, using in vain the name of the ANC's armed wing (MK) to defend Zuma and the Guptas. He advanced the conspiracy theories that Zuma's allies pushed to deflect attention from allegations of corruption and other crimes.

Maphatsoe was relatively unknown before Zuma appointed him as deputy minister of defence and military veterans in 2014, a post he held until 2019. One of his cronies, the disgraced and now jobless Carl Niehaus, alleges that Maphatsoe fought for the neglected MK members but the courts found that Maphatsoe and his cronies had abused a trust established to support veterans.

They allegedly used the funds for their personal benefit. He was ultimately removed as an administrator. His "fight" for neglected MK vets came second to his own self-interest and defence of Zuma and the Guptas. He defended this controversial Indian family vigorously, claiming the corruption fighters were racist against Indians and motivated by white businesses and Western interests.

When the Gupta leaks revealed that PR firm Bell Pottinger, contracted by the Guptas, had drafted MKVA media statements, Maphatsoe said the organisation didn't need foreigners to tell them the SA reality of white monopoly capital.

In 2014 Maphatsoe made headlines when he accused then public protector Thuli Madonsela of being a foreign spy. This was after she found that Zuma should repay the costs of non-security upgrades to his Nkandla palace.

Ahead of Zuma's recent arrest, his young private army stood guard outside Nkandla and their boss Maphatsoe warned that Zuma would not be apprehended easily. But when Zuma's darkest hour arrived, Maphatsoe and his youngsters were nowhere to be seen.

Well, it's true what they say: "When days are dark, friends are few." The passing away of the RET heavyweight has really dealt the Zumarites and the RET hyenas a heavy blow.

Bushy Green, Kagiso

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